According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), childhood obesity has more than doubled in the children and quadrupled in teens in the past 30 years.
A 2013 study by Marion Public Health which measured body mass index (1) found 47% of Marion County fifth graders were overweight or obese. Most troubling, 31% of fifth graders were obese according to their BMI. In the 2014 Marion Public Health Youth Community Survey, 20.8% of the youth who completed the survey were overweight or obese.
Immediate health effects of a young person being obese include higher chance of high cholesterol, high blood pressure and pre-diabetes. Other risks include bone and join problems, sleep apnea and psychological problems such as stigmatization and poor self-esteem (CDC website, 2015).
What can we do? On an individual basis being overweight or obese is the result of too few calories burned compared to the amount of calories consumed. However, this is also impacted by various genetic, behavioral and environmental factors.
PHC – Marion and CHC Marion are working to reduce childhood obesity in Marion County by increasing opportunities people have to be physically active and eat healthy in their daily lives. We are working to change Marion’s environment, policies and systems so that everyone has easy access to physical activity and healthy eating.
Join our efforts by contacting PHC – Marion Coordinator Mariann Wright firstname.lastname@example.org.
www.phcohio.org/teachers-childcare-providers: Great list of Ohio and national resources for parents, teachers, childcare providers and others who work with children.
www.cdc.gov/physicalactivity/everyone/guidelines/children.html: Provides guidelines on the amount of physical activity children need each day and ideas for how to incorporate physical activity into a child’s daily life.
www.choosemyplate.gov: Provides the latest information on eating healthy; includes a page just for kids; and also includes ideas for physical activity.
marionfamilyymca.org/youth: Provides information on YMCA programs available in Marion that involve physical activity. Super Kids is a YMCA program specifically for children ages 9 through 14 who are struggling with their weight. Super Kids is a three month coaching program that includes nutrition counseling and involves the entire family.
1 CDC definition of Body Mass Index: www.cdc.gov/healthyweight/assessing/bmi/