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National Childhood Obesity Awareness Month – September 2023

National Childhood Obesity Awareness Month is in September, and it is dedicated to educating children and their families on how to prevent childhood obesity. It provides numerous opportunities for families, schools, and communities to share information about their plans and events aimed at educating children on how to deal with health issues such as obesity. This month is also an excellent opportunity for parents to learn more about how they can help their children’s health. We are constantly challenged as parents, teachers, and caregivers of young children to find ways to prevent childhood obesity.

History of National Childhood Obesity Awareness Month

For good reason, childhood obesity has been dubbed “one of the most serious public health challenges of the twenty-first century.” Obesity puts a child at risk for a variety of medical issues later in life, including diabetes, high blood pressure, heart disease, stroke, cancer, and joint problems. The purpose of this holiday is to educate the nation on obesity and encourage people to join in efforts to help children overcome this disorder.

The Surgeon General’s office in the United States was established in 1870, but it wasn’t until the 1960s that childhood obesity became a priority. The Surgeon General issued a report in 1963 that linked smoking to lung cancer and heart disease. The report also identified obesity as a significant public health issue; however, it was overshadowed by smoking-related issues at the time.

It wasn’t until recently that there was a heightened awareness of childhood obesity. The first case of type-two diabetes in a child was reported in 1980. This was concerning because type-two diabetes was thought to be an adult-only illness. The Surgeon General issued a warning to Americans about the rise in childhood obesity in 2000. By 2006, over 25 research studies on childhood obesity had been conducted in an attempt to better understand and combat it.

National Childhood Obesity Awareness Month timeline

1870
The U.S. Surgeon General's Office

It is established to collect information about the causes of death and diseases in the U.S.

1960s
On the Radar

Childhood obesity is finally viewed as a serious issue.

1980
Type-Two Diabetes in a Child

The first case in a child occurs and it’s concerning because most people believe that this illness can only be contracted by adults.

2006
Research Takes Place

Over 25 research studies are conducted on childhood obesity to find ways to better understand and combat it.

National Childhood Obesity Awareness Month FAQs

How does childhood obesity affect the economy?

The estimated costs of obesity-related illnesses in the United States, including childhood obesity, are $190.2 billion or nearly 21% of annual medical spending.

What roles should schools play in addressing childhood obesity?

Schools can help prevent obesity among students by offering healthy choices in the lunchroom, limiting the marketing and availability of sugary drinks, and making water available to students throughout the day.

What is the cause of childhood obesity?

Sedentary lifestyles, unhealthy eating habits, and a lack of parental supervision are all factors that contribute to childhood obesity. There is also concern about the rise in popularity of video games among children and teenagers, which may be contributing to their obesity.

How to Observe National Childhood Obesity Awareness Month

  1. Learn about childhood obesity

    Observe Childhood Obesity Awareness Month by learning more about the disease and how to prevent it. Educate yourself, your family and friends, your school, and your community.

  2. Organize a local event

    Anyone can organize a local event to teach children the value of physical activity and healthy eating for their overall well-being. Many resources are available on the website to assist you in commemorating this month and educating children about obesity.

  3. Donate to an organization

    Donate to a charity that fights childhood obesity. There are great organizations out there doing wonderful things for our children. Consider donating to one of these wonderful organizations right now.

5 Important Facts About Childhood Obesity

  1. One in six children are affected

    More than 12.7 million American children have obesity — that’s almost 20% of all children aged two to 19.

  2. Overweight children become overweight adults

    Obese children are much more likely to become obese adults, as well as develop life-threatening diseases such as diabetes and high blood pressure.

  3. Your ethnicity affects your likelihood of obesity

    Obesity affects approximately 48% of non-Hispanic Blacks, 42% of Hispanics, 36% of non-Hispanic Whites, and 12% of non-Hispanic Asians.

  4. Childhood obesity can lead to depression

    Children who are overweight are much more likely to be bullied than their normal-weight peers.

  5. Snacking adds an additional 200 daily calories

    Kids snack a lot, especially when they're watching T.V. or playing video games, and one study found that children consume about 200 extra calories per day.

Why National Childhood Obesity Awareness Month is Important

  1. It promotes healthy eating habits

    The holiday promotes healthy eating habits and an active lifestyle. This will help kids reach a healthy weight for their age, height, and gender.

  2. It encourage parents

    It encourages parents to be role models for their children by eating healthy foods, being physically active, and limiting screen time. Plus, it gives parents the information they need to make informed decisions on raising healthy kids.

  3. It educates parents

    This month educates parents about the importance of fruit and vegetables. It also teaches them how to eliminate sugary drinks from their children’s diets.

National Childhood Obesity Awareness Month dates

YearDateDay
2023September 1Friday
2024September 1Sunday
2025September 1Monday
2026September 1Tuesday
2027September 1Wednesday
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