I was browsing through www.healthfinder.gov’s website and noticed that September is national childhood obesity awareness month. I was reading some stats on the website and it said, “1 in 3 children in the US are overweight/obese.” This is really sad news because these children will grow up with additional health issues that are related to obesity.
Why is childhood obesity prevalent in the United States? One reason can be due to the fast-paced lifestyle we have nowadays. It’s convenient and normal to pick up fast food on the way home from school or choose to stay inside and play video games all day. Childhood obesity can be dangerous because it leads to lots of other health issues that adults normally get, such as type 2 diabetes and various cardiovascular diseases.
The good news about all of this is that obesity can be avoided and prevented. Children can be encouraged to participate in sports at a young age and develop friendships through those activities, all while getting physical exercise. Healthy diets can be encouraged by parents and schools by incorporating more fruits and vegetables while making it fun for the children. Awareness of the dangers of childhood obesity can be spread throughout the month of September (and all throughout the rest of the year) to promote healthy lifestyles in children to prevent these other health issues. As future physicians, we can encourage our communities to take small steps in eliminating childhood obesity.