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Healthy Kids in Allen County

Eat Healthy Pledge

Our children are becoming more obese

We’re a nation that’s all about convenience. We want what we want, and we want it now. Kids aren’t patient and parents are always on the go. It’s a new way of life, filled with fast food and frozen meals. We don’t have time for food preparation.

But our conveniency based lifestyles are taking a toll on the health of our children. Childhood obesity is an epidemic. In just 30 years obesity has doubled in children, and nearly quadrupled in adolescents

How is Childhood Obesity defined?

Body Mass Index (BMI) is used to determine if a child is overweight or considered obese. BMI is calculated by dividing a person’s weight in kilograms by the square of height in meters. For children and teens, BMI is age- and sex-specific and is often referred to as BMI-for-age.

A child’s weight status is determined by using an age- and sex-specific percentile for BMI, rather than the BMI categories used for adults. This is because children’s body composition varies as they age and varies between boys and girls. Therefore, BMI levels among children and teens need to be expressed relative to other children of the same age and sex.

Overweight is defined as a BMI at or above the 85th percentile and below the 95th percentile for children and teens of the same age and sex. Obesity is defined as a BMI at or above the 95th percentile for children and teens of the same age and sex.

scaleBM Percentile Calculator for Children and Teens

Child & Teen BMI Calculator

For example, a 10-year-old boy of average height (56 inches) who weighs 102 pounds would have a BMI of 22.9 kg/m2. This would place the boy in the 95th percentile for BMI, and he would be considered as obese. This means that the child’s BMI is greater than the BMI of 95% of 10-year-old boys in the reference populatio
BM Percentile Calculator for Children and Teens

How many kids are affected?

Approximately 17 percent (or 12.7 million) of children and adolescents aged 2 to 19 years are obese.
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What are the causes and consequences, and how can we combat obesity in our children?

Childhood obesity is a complex health issue and occurs when a child is well above the normal or healthy weight for his or her age and height. The main causes of excess weight in youth are similar to those in adults, and can lead to obesity in adulthood.

Behaviors that cause childhood obesity can include dietary patterns, physical activity, inactivity, and medication use. Other factors are the child’s food and physical activity environment, education and skills, and food marketing and promotion.

Childhood obesity can cause harmful effects on the body in a number of ways. Child who are obese have a greater risk of high blood pressure and high cholesterol, which are risk factors of cardiovascular disease. Additionally, there is an increased risk of type 2 diabetes, breathing issues like sleep apnea and asthma, joint problems and discomfort.

Children may also face psychological stress, like depression or behavioral problems, which can cause problems in school. There is also a risk of lower self-esteem and low self-reported quality of life.

To fight this our kids need to eat healthier and become more active.
Learn More at the CDC

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How can you help end childhood obesity?

  • Pledge to be a MyPlate Champion
  • Get active
  • Be involved within your child’s school to ensure healthy school lunches are served and promoted and adequate physical activity is taking place
  • Limit screen time
  • Be an example of a healthy lifestyle to your children
  • Stay up to date with your child’s physician/pediatrician to monitor weight
  • Get involved with community efforts to create a healthier atmosphere- participate in a 5K, use the bike trails and parks, or get involved with a group doing your favorite hobby

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If you want to become involved in preventing childhood obesity or if you have any questions feel free to call Activate Allen Count

Check out our blog for more great information

 


Sources: www.cdc.gov