DHMIC Annual Summit Presentations Now Available for Download

HEALTH EQUITY: Steps We Can All Take to Help Reduce Childhood Obesity

Did you know that 1 in 6 children in the U.S. are obese? Reasons for this can stem from things like their family’s income, race, ethnicity, and where they live. These conditions, known as the social determinants of health, address why some communities are not as healthy as they should be. Health equity means everyone has the opportunity to live a healthy life, no matter who they are or where they live or how much money their family makes.

Childhood obesity is a serious problem because it affects a child’s mental and physical health. Children who are overweight are more likely to be bullied and suffer from depression. These adverse childhood experiences (ACES) can affect them well into adulthood. Overweight children also have a higher risk of getting asthma, type 2 diabetes, heart disease and high blood pressure. As a parent or caregiver, you might be asking yourself, “What can I do to help my child?” Below is a list of just some of the things you can do to prevent childhood obesity-

  1. Eat Healthy: There’s no magic trick to eating healthy. It’s all about making the right choices. Access to healthy foods can vary based on where you live. Try to buy fresh fruits and vegetables where you can. Serve reasonable-sized portions. Pick water over sugary drinks. Small changes can lead to big success!
  2. Stay Active: Every child should get at least 60 minutes of physical activity a day. Exercise is good for you too, so why not create a routine of being active together? If you’re looking for activity inspiration click here!
  3. Reduce Screen Time: The CDC recommends that children spend no more than 2 hours a day watching TV, playing video games, or being on a computer/smartphone. Encourage your children to find other fun activities to do like reading or arts and crafts!

Health equity means everyone has the opportunity to live a healthy life, no matter who they are or where they live. Take steps to help your child live their happiest and healthiest life today!