BATON ROUGE, LA (LOCAL33) (FOX44) – September is Childhood Obesity Awareness Month.
During the month of September, the American Heart Association and hospital systems like Our Lady Of the Lake would like to spread awareness about childhood obesity.
According to the American Heart Association, “approximately 34 percent of our youth between 10 and 17-years-old in the Baton Rouge area are overweight or obese.”
For more healthy tips and advice visit the American Heart Associations website.
- Focus on good health, not a certain weight goal. Teach and model healthy and positive attitudes toward food and physical activity without emphasizing body weight.
- Focus on the family. Do not set overweight children apart. Involve the whole family and work to gradually change the family’s physical activity and eating habits.
- Establish daily meal and snack times, and eating together as frequently as possible. Make a wide variety of healthful foods available. Determine what food is offered and when, and let the child decide whether and how much to eat.
- Plan sensible portions. Use the Food Guide Pyramid for Young Children as a guide.
- Discourage eating meals or snacks while watching TV. Eating in front of the TV may make it difficult to pay attention to feelings of fullness and may lead to overeating.
- Buy fewer high-calorie, low-nutrient foods. Help children understand that sweets and high-fat treats (such as candy, cookies, or cake) are not everyday foods. Don’t deprive children of occasional treats, however. This can make them more likely to overeat.
- Avoid labeling foods as “good” or “bad.” All foods in moderation can be part of a healthy diet.
- Involve children in planning, shopping, and preparing meals. Use these activities to understand children’s food preferences, teach children about nutrition, and encourage them to try a wide variety of foods.
- Plan healthy snacks at specific times. Include two food groups, for example, apple wedges and whole grain crackers. Focus on maximum nutrition – fruits, vegetables, grains, low-sugar cereals, low-fat dairy products, and lean meats and meat alternatives.
- Avoid excessive amounts of fruit juices, which contains calories, but fewer nutrients than the fruits they come from.
- Encourage physical activity – kids should be getting 60 minutes of play a day. Participate in family physical activity time on a regular basis, such as walks, bike rides, hikes, and active games.