by Dr. Sarah E. Laibstain
Did you know that according to the Centers of Disease Control and Prevention, 1 in 6 children in the United States are obese? With over 12 million obese children in the U.S., obesity increases the risk of having chronic health conditions, such as type 2 diabetes. As September is National Childhood Obesity Awareness Month, it provides a chance to learn ways to prevent obesity and support healthy growth in children.
A healthy lifestyle can begin at home with active family activities and a balanced nutrition plan. Obesity may be influenced by a combination of too much time being inactive and easy access to high calorie foods. Making small changes throughout your household can create a positive impact on your child’s health and energy levels such as providing nutritious, lower-calorie foods in place of sugary foods. Meal prepping on the weekends is also a great opportunity to save time and money while making grocery shopping much easier.
Activity level is just as important as a healthy diet. Help your children get the recommended amount of physical activity by encouraging family outings. Denton County offers a variety of low-cost physical activities such as community pools, parks and trails.
As school schedules become busier, finding time to stay active with your family can become harder. Fortunately, the community and education system offer great physical activities to help children stay active. From elementary school to high school, children are offered a variety of ways to stay active such as recess and organized sports team. Also, many area communities offer youth sporting organizations for an even wider variation of activities.
National Childhood Obesity Awareness Month is a great reminder of the importance of planning healthy meal options and staying active. These efforts can help the entire family live a healthier lifestyle.
Dr. Sarah E. Laibstain is a general family medicine practitioner at Family Medicine Associates of Texas in Carrollton. She thoroughly enjoys improving the health and lives of individuals ranging from young children to adulthood. For more information, call 972-394-8844, or visit texasmedicine.com.