September marks Childhood Obesity Awareness Month

Published: Sep. 2, 2016 at 5:20 PM MDT
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According to the CDC one in three children in the United States is overweight or clinically obese.

Childhood obesity puts kids at risk for health problems that were usually only seen in adults, things like type 2 diabetes, high blood pressure and heart disease.

Pediatrician’s recommend first beginning with a good diet.

“Focusing on having those good healthy habits and those start young and when we talk about good healthy habits, it's eating real food,” said Dr. Brian Birch, pediatrician. “Food that you can grow on trees, or pick from the ground or that you get from a farmer or a dairyman.”

The youth engaged in activities for health program is offering a class in September to help better educate both parents and kids about living a healthy lifestyle.

“Teaching families how to be more active, how to choose more healthy food choices, role modeling some of that healthy behavior at home,” said Melissa Sleight, dietician. “Get the kids involved make it really fun.”

Doctors remind parents to make sure they limit their child’s screen time to no more than 2 hours a day.

It's also important to make sure they are being active for at least one hour a day

“Whether it's sports teams or parks and rec or tumbling or like you said just playing hoops at the park,” said Sleight. “Just finding something, to get out and be active. With school the kids are sitting a lot, so then it's hard to go home and continue to sit or stare at the TV.”

“It’s a great time of year to get outside, to go explore, find new areas,” said Dr. Birch. “Whether that's going down to Dierkes lake and trudging around Dierkes lake or swimming going down to centennial park and kayaking. Riding your bike or walking along the canyon rim. Going to the first federal playground.”

Annual checkups and wellness visits are also crucial so that a physician may monitor a child's growth and development, which can prevent childhood obesity.