Monday, April 4, 2011

Preventing Childhood Obesity

Childhood obesity in the United States is a serious problem that impacts the health and future of our children and amounts to growing costs to states. According to a collaborative report by the United Health Foundation, the American Public Health Association and Partnership for Prevention, the United States is projected to spend $344 billion in obesity-related health care costs in 2018 if obesity levels continue to increase at their current rate. Furthermore, according to Leadership for Healthy Communities, if we continue on the current path we will raise the first generation of children to” live sicker and die younger than the generation before them.”
There are several resources to learn more about the scope and impact of childhood obesity.
  • Leadership for Healthy Communities has several fact sheets that cover multiple issues related to preventing childhood obesity including facts related to American Indian and Alaska Native children, fact sheets in Spanish, and a list of talking points.
  • CDC’s national and state specific fact sheets offer a good way to get a sense of the problems scope across the country, and in your state.
  • Action for Healthy Kids has a series of fact sheets on various issues related to childhood obesity prevention and healthy school policy including fact sheets on U.S. public schools, local wellness policies and physical education.
  • 10 Frightening Facts about Childhood Obesity provides a series of facts about the percentage of kids that are eating healthy food, getting enough physical activity and time children spend watching television.
There are also several great resources for state policymakers to learn about strategies to reduce and prevent childhood obesity. Including: