Tuesday, September 6, 2016

September is Childhood Obesity Awareness Month

One in 3 children in the United States are overweight or obese. Childhood obesity puts kids at risk for health problems that were once seen only in adults, like type 2 diabetes, high blood pressure, and heart disease.

Childhood obesity can be prevented. Communities, health professionals, and families can work together to create opportunities for kids to eat healthier and get more active.

Make a difference for kids: Spread the word about strategies for preventing childhood obesity and encourage communities, organizations, families, and individuals to get involved.

We can all use this month to raise awareness about the obesity epidemic and show people how they can take steps toward a solution. Here are just a few ideas:

  • Encourage families to make small changes, like keeping fresh fruit within their children’s reach or going on a family walk after dinner.
  • Motivate teachers and administrators to make schools healthier. Help them provide healthy food options and daily physical activities for students.
  • Ask doctors and nurses to be leaders in their communities by supporting programs to prevent childhood obesity
Last year, Jefferson County Public Health, Triad Early Childhood Council, and Culture of Wellness in Preschools formed the Healthy Preschool Partnership (HPP). The partnership has been working together to support the health and well-being of children and staff in early care and education settings. In 2015-2016, the Health Preschool Partnership worked with 17 early care and education sites in Jefferson and Gilpin County to increase physical activity and healthy eating practices. This partnership is planning on continuing early childhood obesity prevention work and partnership in the upcoming year.

Culture of Wellness in Preschools continues to do great work in Jefferson County Head Start Programs and throughout the Denver area.

Another partner organization, Go Farm, is a local Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) that is working with Early Care and Education sites to increase access to healthy foods for preschoolers and their families in Jefferson County through their Go Farm to Families program.

September is a great time to access 5210 Jeffco. 5210 Jeffco is a simple, easy-to-remember message to improve child health by promoting healthy eating and physical activity in Jefferson County. Adopted from 5210 Let’s Go!, a program out of Maine, 5210 Jeffco reminds families of four healthy habits to aim for each day:

The 5210 message works in many settings to reach families and children where they live, learn, work, and play. The goal is that 5210 Jeffco will not only get the word out about healthy habits for children to live by, but also inspire community change through policies that support healthy environments for all. Let's work together to give everyone the same opportunity to make the healthy choice the easy choice in Jefferson County.

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