National Childhood Obesity Awareness

This September, we shine a light on childhood obesity awareness. 1 in 5 children in the United States have obesity, per the CDC. This is a serious public health problem that deserves recognition. If obesity starts at an early age, it can continuously affect someone throughout their life. Between diet, social factors, genetics, and physical behaviors, so many things impact childhood obesity.

Children with obesity have a higher risk of health conditions and diseases, such as asthma, type 2 diabetes, high blood pressure and high cholesterol. Children with obesity are more likely to be bullied and teased, which can cause issues with mental health and self-esteem. Also, obesity in children can continue or even worsen in adulthood. As they get older, the risk of type 2 diabetes, heart disease, and other health problems grow higher.

Environment can often play a big role in childhood obesity.  According to the CDC, obesity prevalence was around 25% among both Hispanic and Black children in 2018. In areas commonly occupied by these groups, access to unhealthy foods tends to be easier, and more affordable than healthy foods. Accessibility also becomes more of a problem for families, like the near 12,000 in Bridgeport without a car, who rely on public transportation.

In a digital age, kids are a lot less active. And some may even live in areas with limited resources for physical activity. In low income communities, the hour or so of gym class once a week in school may be the only activity kids have. But gym class can be a vulnerable place for children with obesity, affecting their self-esteem and causing discouragement.

A child’s health and wellness starts at home. But there’s a lot that can be done beyond the home. Southwest has a wide range of nutrition treatment for issues like weight management, high blood pressure, diabetes, and heart health. Our nutritionists also recommend even more resources to ensure adequate health for your child.

If you would like to speak with on of our Nutritionist or would like an appointment to visit our pediatrics department, please call 203-330-6000