Blog written by Annia Reyes, Health Education Coordinator
September is Childhood Obesity Awareness month. Research shows that over the past four decades, childhood obesity has grown to epidemic proportions. Data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention shows more than 12.7 million American children and adolescents are obese or overweight. That’s roughly one child in every three. The World Health Organization also states that 41 million children under the age of 5 across the globe are obese.
When parents are busy at work all day, daycare and education providers play a critical role in maintaining a child’s health and safety. Many children are in early care and education settings for several hours during the day, which means this is the primary environment where many children eat, play, and grow. With families that spend large amounts of time outside of the home, it is becoming increasingly important for parents and children to eat and play together, giving parents the opportunity to be role models for healthy eating and physically active lifestyles.
At Cornerstone Family Healthcare, we recognize the challenges living in a fast-paced world creates, and we look for opportunities to reduce barriers to good nutrition and physical activity within our communities. Our board-certified pediatricians, together with registered dieticians specializing in adolescent and childhood weight management and our health education team work to offer programs that will help children and families build healthier lifestyles. One goal of Cornerstone’s health education curriculum is to provide classes that include fun, interactive games and activities that promote physical activity and engage families in meeting their wellness goals.
One of the programs the health education team hosts is Strong Families Eat and Play Together. This program is held once a month on Saturdays. Participants receive evidence-based information, healthy snacks, and free produce. In this program, all family members are engaged and learn how to make healthier food choices, discover a range of fun physical activities, learn how to read food labels, and develop many other strategies to building healthier families.
The Cornerstone team focuses on assisting families with making small, manageable changes that are appropriate for their needs. We have excellent resources to help families improve their health and prevent chronic diseases. Every day, we are seeing the impact of healthy weight as a primary factor in preventing diabetes in children and adults. The emphasis of our programs are not on “weight and obesity,” but rather on developing a lifetime of healthy habits.
For more information on health education programs for your family, please visit www.wordpress-214991-667688.cloudwaysapps.com or call (845) 563-8043.