September is Childhood Obesity Awareness Month

September is Childhood Obesity Awareness Month


More than 23 million children and teenagers in the United States ages 2 to 19 are obese or overweight according to According to the Centers for Disease Control 1 of every 5 (17%) of children in the United States has obesity. This puts nearly one third of American children at an early risk for type 2 diabetes, high blood pressure, heart disease, and even stroke.  Children who are obese are more likely to have obesity as adults and are more at risk for physical and mental health problems in the future.


Childhood obesity can be influenced by many different factors. One factor is too much time spent in sedentary activities. These activities include watching TV, playing video games, computer use, and any other activities that cause little to no physical exercise. The other major factor affecting childhood obesity is access to inexpensive high calorie snacks or beverages, or lack of access to affordable healthier foods.


Parents are the first line of defense in helping to prevent childhood obesity. One way parents can help to battle obesity is to offer your child healthy snack options. According to the CDC, parents should substitute higher nutrient lower calorie foods such as fruits and vegetables in place of high calorie snack options. Encouraging your child to drink more water and less sugary drinks is another way to help reduce the risk of childhood obesity. Limiting screen time and promoting outside playing helps your child get the exercise they need. These are just a few of the ways for parents to battle childhood obesity. Below are links to various websites with more information on childhood obesity and ways to keep your child healthy.


American Academy of Pediatrics Institute for Healthy Childhood Weight was launched in January 2013 to address the complex problem of childhood obesity from prevention through treatment. Here is the link to their website where you can find tons of resources for different programs and treatments such as Healthy Active Living for Families (HALF) is a great resource for families to learn about proper nutrition and portion sizes. This will allow you to pick out better foods for you and your family to eat.


Here are the links for the CDC and They give information on the prevalence of childhood obesity along with the importance of raising awareness during the month of September.


-Matthew D’Antonio, PT, DPT

Pediatric Physical Therapist

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