September is Childhood Obesity Awareness Month – Greensburg Daily News

Posted: September 3, 2017 at 2:42 am

DECATUR COUNTY September is Childhood Obesity Awareness Month, and while the dangers of childhood obesity are well chronicled, many families need support changing their families habits with the ultimate goal of being a healthy weight. Thats why the Decatur County Family YMCA a leading community-based organization dedicated to improving healthwants families to understand the dangers of childhood obesity and ways to reverse course through improved eating habits and increased physical activity.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the prevalence of obesity has remained stable at about 17 percent and affects about 12.7 million children and adolescents. Today, obesity affects one in six children and one in three are overweight, which poses greater risks for many health problems such as type 2 diabetes, high blood pressure, high cholesterol and some cancers. Here in Indiana, 14.3 percent of all children, ages 2-17, are considered overweight or obese, according to the State of Obesity.

Successfully lowering obesity rates in children requires the whole family to change their eating and physical activity habits, said Diane Hart-Dawson, CEO, Decatur County Family YMCA. Kids learn unhealthy habits at home, and many parents or caregivers dont realize how the choices they make affects those who look up to them.

Additionally, if families dont know how to get started, reaching out to your health care provider or organizations like the Y that provide support are great first steps.

The following tips are some great ways to incorporate healthier eating habits and more physical activity and into your daily family routine:

Eat & Drink Healthy: Make water the drink of choice and encourage everyone to fill half their plates with fruits and vegetables by offering two or three colorful options at every meal. As a family choose a new fruit and veggie every week to taste together. Place a full pitcher of water on the table during meals, and allow children to pour their own water.

Play Every Day/Go Outside: Children should have at least an hour a day of unstructured play outside (when possible) and break a sweat at least three times a week by getting 20 minutes or more of vigorous physical activity. Join your children in games that get your hearts pumping and bodies moving.

Get Together: Eat as a family as frequently as possible. Involve kids in meal planning, preparation and clean up. In addition, adults should take a break from electronics and spend one-to-one time each day with their kids, enjoying one anothers company.

Reduce Recreational Screen Time: Time spent in front of a television, computer, tablet, cell phone or video games should be limited to two hours or less per day. Make a family plan to reduce screen time at home (i.e. turn off screens during meals, go for a walk after a meal, set a timer to remind you to power down the screen).

Sleep Well: Kids and adults need to keep a regular sleep schedule; unwind together in the evenings by reading a book or listening to soft music to ensure the body is preparing for sleep. Kids are growing and need 10-12 hours of healthy sleep per night and seven to eight hours for adults.

The YMCA provides many different opportunities to keep children healthy and active. Currently, the YMCA is offering classes such as Little Tumblers, Little Kickers, Little Dribblers, Youth Basketball and Racquetball leagues, as well as a brand new running club for boys called Knights of Honor.

In addition to being healthy at home, there is a need to maintain healthy habits while attending out-of-school programs. To create healthy environments for all children the Decatur County Family YMCA offers a feeding program where children are fed full, nutritious meals during the afterschool program, all camps, and the new Knights of Honor running club. In addition, there are two feeding sites in town, providing FREE meals for children ages 18 and under. Those two sites are the Greensburg Public Library on Mondays from 5 p.m. 6:30 p.m. and at the Life Line Wesleyan Church on Mondays through Thursday from 5:30 p.m. 6:30 p.m. and on Fridays from 5 p.m. 6 p.m.

Daily News

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September is Childhood Obesity Awareness Month - Greensburg Daily News

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