Childhood obesity in America

1 out of every 5 U.S. children is obese, representing 15% of the overall child population.

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Photos courtesy of Gaulsstin, Smallworldspictures123, Cliff, Sandra Cohen-Rose and Colin Rose/flickr

SAN DIEGO, September 8, 2015 — September is National Childhood Obesity Month.

President Obama proclaimed, “This month, we pause to remember our commitment to our Nation’s youth and renew our focus on improving the health and well-being of our country’s most precious resource.”

According to the Centers for Disease Control approximately 1 out of every 5 U.S. children is obese, representing 15% of the overall child population.

Obese children are faced with health problems today which were unheard of in those under the age of 18 in prior generations, such as high blood pressure, type 2 diabetes, heart disease, and liver disease–diseases which were anticipated in later adulthood.


Behavioral problems, such as symptoms of stress, hyperactivity, learning difficulties, depression, and being victims of bullying are common in obese children.

Obese children are significantly more likely to mature into obese adults.

According to the Mayo Clinic, there are a variety of risk factors which lead to childhood obesity.

  • Poor diet
  • Lack of exercise
  • Family factors and social influences
  • Psychological factors
  • Socioeconomic factors

Categories of childhood weight differentials may be evaluated and measured, according to kids.health.org.

  1. Underweight: A person weighs less than the healthy range for his or her age, gender and height.
  2. Healthy weight: A person’s weight is in the healthy range for his or her age, gender and height.
  3. Overweight: A person weighs more than the healthy range for his or her age, gender and height.
  4. Obese: A person weighs much more than the healthy range for his or her age, gender and height.
Photo in the public domain/wikimedia
Photo in the public domain/wikimedia

Analyzing the body mass index (BMI) is critical to measuring into which weight category a child falls.

The WebMd  BMI Calculator is a helpful tool.

Photo courtesy of USAG- Humphreys/flickr
Photo courtesy of USAG- Humphreys/flickr

Preventing childhood obesity is critically important for the health and well-being of children in America.

Parents concerned about their child’s weight are encouraged to seek the advice of a qualified health care professional.

Introducing a variety of small changes can help create a healthy environment and provide the opportunity for any child to attain a healthy weight and lifestyle.

Introducing a variety of small changes can help create a healthy environment and provide the opportunity for any child to attain a healthy weight and lifestyle.

Small changes such as walking home from school, engaging in outdoor and indoor physical activities, and limiting time spent in front of a TV or computer are great first steps toward increased physical activity.


Healthy nutrition is also key, including limiting fats, sugary foods and fast-foods while adding fruits and vegetables into the daily diet.

Drinking water throughout the day will replace soft drinks and help a child stay well hydrated.

Parents, teachers and others who are involved in a child’s daily life can serve as role models and help to shape and influence their future, with long-term positive effects that can last a lifetime.

All children deserve to grow into healthy adults who are free from disease, possess good self-esteem, and are able to use their talents and abilities for personal fulfillment and the betterment of future generations to come.

Until next time, enjoy the ride in good health!

Laurie Edwards-Tate, MS, is a health care provider of over 30 years. As a featured “Communities Digital News” columnist, LifeCycles with Laurie Edwards-Tate emphasizes healthy aging and maintaining independence, while delighting and informing its readers. Laurie is a recognized expert in home and community-based, long-term care services, and is also an educator.

In addition to writing for “Communities Digital News,” Laurie is the President and CEO of her firm, At Your Home Familycare, which serves persons of all ages who are disabled and infirm with a variety of non-medical, in-home care and concierge services.

Copyright © 2015 by At Your Home Familycare

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Laurie Edwards-Tate
Laurie Edwards-Tate, MS, President and Founder of At Your Home Familycare in San Diego, California, was among the first to recognize the growing need for services allowing individuals to remain independent created by the aging of America including the Baby Boomer generation, now being called the “Silver Tsunami.” It is the Baby Boomers who are rapidly redefining what aging and growing older means and looks like in America today. Now celebrating its 28th year in business, AYHF is among San Diego County’s Top Women-Owned Businesses and Fastest Growing Businesses, and enjoys a reputation for upholding the highest possible standards among its employees and its emphasis on customer service. Edwards-Tate is a valued contributor to the public dialogue on current issues and challenges in the home care industry, and serves in leadership roles on the Home Care Aide Association of America Advisory Board and Private Duty Home Care Association Advisory Board, as well as the Home Care Aide Steering Committee of the California Association for Health Services at Home. Edwards-Tate is frequently interviewed in the media on healthy aging, caregiving, and health care topics. Follow Laurie and AYHF at www.atyourhomefamilycare.com; on Facebook at www.facebook.com/atyourhomefamilycare, and Twitter at @AYHFamilycare