Childhood obesity affects close to 23 million youth throughout the US. These children aged 2-19 have a greater chance of developing chronic conditions such as Type 2 Diabetes, high blood pressure and heart disease. Florida’s childhood obesity rate is 27.5% of all children are overweight or obese, and 27.7% of all Florida children are inactive, according to the Alliance for a Healthier Generation.

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September is National Childhood Obesity Awareness Month (COAM) and the staff at FLIPANY have been working year round on the TOUCH initiative to provide Broward County early learning centers with the resources they need to contribute to the decline in childhood obesity rates. Reaching children with tools that promote nutrition education and physical activity has contributed to providing children with the resources they need to lead a healthier lifestyle. Some of the ways that schools and parents can decrease the national epidemic are by:

1. Providing healthy foods to kids of all ages. Avoiding refined and processed foods that are high in sugar and fats.

2. Promote active play instead of increased screen time.

3. Become a role model for the children by eating healthy and increasing physical activity.

4. Promoting water instead of high sugar soda, sports drinks or juices.

It takes a community of awareness from parents, to businesses to doctors to schools and even after school programs to make an impact on the future health of the next generation.

By adapting these 4 tips, a child can have a healthier future!

Resources and toolkits:

www.HealthFinder.gov – Toolkit

www.HealthierGeneration.org – About Childhood Obesity

www.HealthierKidsBrighterFutures.org

www.CDC.gov – ChildhoodObesity

FLIPANY is a nonprofit organization dedicated to improving lives in South Florida communities.

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