Childhood obesity has quickly become a major health issue impacting the US. According to the CDC, childhood obesity has more than doubled in children and quadrupled in adolescents in the past 30 years (1). In 2012, more than one third of children and adolescents were overweight or obese.
We nurses are the first point of contact for many families as they look for ways to improve their children’s health. We can share life-saving strategies that are easy to implement and can help stop obesity before it begins. AHRQ's free patient summary on childhood obesity
is for parents and caregivers who want to know things that can be done at home, in school, and in the community to help children maintain a healthy weight and keep them from becoming overweight or obese. If a child is already overweight or obese, steps can still be taken to keep the child from gaining any more weight. Keeping Children at a Healthy Weight
also outlines factors that may lead to children becoming overweight, including:
- Unhealthy eating habits – Children may eat too much, eat too many unhealthy foods, or drink too many sugary drinks.
- Not getting enough sleep – Children who do not get enough sleep each night are more likely to become overweight.
- Not enough physical activity – Children should be active at least 1 hour each day.
What kinds of advice do you offer families to help them keep their children at a healthy weight? Are there community-based health programs you refer them to? Please share some of your ideas.
To share this information with your patients, free copies of the clinician
treatment summaries can be ordered by calling 800-358-9295 and using code C-01.