Thursday, September 6, 2012

September is Childhood Obesity Awareness Month

September is National Childhood Obesity Awareness Month. Colorado ranks 23rd in childhood obesity, with nearly one in seven Colorado children obese. Obesity is one of Colorado's 10 Winnable Battles. The Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment has prioritized the following obesity prevention strategies to try to reduce the weight of the state:

Promote breast feeding by ensuring baby-friendly hospitals
Document obesity and referrals through electronic health records
Increase physical activity and healthy eating for people at risk for diabetes
Promote worksite wellness programs and policies that support healthy eating and physical activity
Address depression to prevent and reduce obesity
Ensure built environments allow access to healthy eating and active living
Ensure health plan coverage for obesity counseling and other preventive services
Support healthy eating and active living in schools
Improve child care food service practices
Promote physical activity training for childcare workers
Promote farm to school initiatives
Explore policies and practices that reduce the consumption of sugar sweetened beverages

From an Aug. 31 proclamation by President Barack Obama:

"Over the past several decades, childhood obesity has become a serious public health issue that puts millions of our sons and daughters at risk. The stakes are high: if we do not solve this problem, many among America's next generation will face diabetes, heart disease, cancer, and other health problems associated with obesity. Thankfully, while more remains to be done, we are making real progress toward a healthier future for our children. During National Childhood Obesity Awareness Month, we rededicate ourselves to meeting that critical responsibility."

Read the full Presidential Proclamation - Childhood Obesity Awareness Month, 2012

From the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services:

"September marks the start of National Childhood Obesity Awareness Month, a time for us to encourage America’s children to develop healthy habits that can last a lifetime. All kids deserve to experience the positive health benefits of daily physical activity and healthy eating, and have those opportunities available to them."

Read the full Statement on National Childhood Obesity Awareness Month by HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius.

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