September is Childhood Obesity Awareness Month

2012-07-31T15:54:20-04:00Nutrition & Fitness, Parenting|

Here’s a scary fact—childhood obesity has more than tripled in the past 30 years. An even scarier statistic—in 2008, more than one third of children and adolescents were overweight or obese. Many believe that our increasingly sedentary lifestyles and poor diets are the biggest contributing factors to childhood obesity. According to Let’s Move!, First Lady Michelle Obama’s campaign to get kids active and healthy,

…consider that eight to 18 year old adolescents spend an average of 7.5 hours a day using entertainment media including TV, computers, video games, cell phones and movies in a typical day, and only one-third of high school students get the recommended levels of physical activity.

Obese youth are more likely to have risk factors for cardiovascular disease, are more likely to have pre-diabetes, and are at greater risk for bone and joint problems, as well as sleep apnea. Clearly we are dealing with a very scary problem! The sedentary lifestyle many of our children have become accustomed is having a direct impact on their long term well-being and health.

September is Childhood Obesity Awareness Month and we at SportsSignup are committed to getting kids more active, eating right and leading healthier lives. Obviously we are a little partial to sports organizations as a great way to get kids outside and moving, but youth sports aren’t the only things parents and communities can do to help combat childhood obesity and set our kids up for long term success. You don’t need to make radical changes to your everyday life to have a lasting impact.

Here are a few ways parents can help prevent childhood obesity:

  • Go for a family walk after dinner.
  • Limit the amount of sweets and junk food snacks kept in the house.
  • Plan out the week’s meals in advance so you aren’t forced to make last minutes stops for fast food.
  • Play games that get you up and moving like hula hoop or tag, or just turn on the music and have a dance party in the living room! Disguising exercise as games keeps both you and your family excited.

Here are a few ways sports organizations can help prevent childhood obesity:

  • Provide healthier alternatives at field days and tournaments so there is more to eat than just sugary snacks and junk food.
  • Make sure all your fields/courts are in good shape. It’s hard to stay active when your athletes have nowhere to practice!
  • Host indoor and outdoor “fun” nights where athletes and their families can just come and have a good time.

While the statistics about childhood obesity are frightening, this is not a lost cause! With a few steps in the right direction we can turn the tide against childhood obesity.