National Childhood Obesity Awareness Month is in September. Childhood obesity is a growing epidemic in the United States, with the percentage of children and adolescents who are obese more than tripling since the 1970s.

Our team at AFC Urgent Care Hixson wants to discuss ways to prevent obesity in children, as well as steps we can all take to lower this percentage.

Why Is Childhood Obesity Such a Problem in the United States?

No one’s entirely sure of the reasons for the epidemic, but there are likely two main factors. First, American children have become increasingly sedentary in the last few decades. And second, healthy eating habits have largely fallen by the wayside.

Why is that? The increase of sedentary behavior is likely associated with the rise in video games and other technology, while the diminished eating habits are likely a result of being just plain busy.

Causes of Childhood Obesity

  • Genetic factors
  • Unhealthy eating patterns
  • Medical conditions, such as a hormonal problem
  • Not exercising or not exercising enough

How Can I Keep My Child at a Healthy Weight?

Children learn by example. Therefore, it is important for parents to put their own best foot forward when following healthy habits.

You want your kids to see you exercising regularly and eating a healthy diet, so that they will mimic that behavior.

Building Healthy Habits in Kids

  • Make some of your family activities relate to physical activity.
  • Eat regular family meals.
  • Shop farmers markets and fill your plate with fruits and veggies.
  • Aim for a blend of fruits, veggies, lean protein, whole grains and lowfat dairy.
  • Get plenty of quality sleep.

Could your child use a checkup? Visit the medical team at AFC Urgent Care Hixson today to get a sports physical completed ASAP—no appointment is needed!