Beyond home and school, communities play an essential role in encouraging youth to live healthier lives. Out of school time settings, such as after-school programs, community centers, faith-based organizations and parks and recreation facilities can empower kids to make healthy behavior changes and to become advocates and leaders for healthy eating and physical activity.
The CFF encourages children within their programs to exercise, eat healthy, stay involved in community sports, stay in school, get good grades, and to be a role model for their siblings, friends, and classmates.
CAUSES OF CHILDHOOD OBESITY INCLUDE:
- Reduced activity levels –- Kids simply aren’t getting enough exercise. Kids and teens spend almost 4 hours a day watching TV, DVDs, or videos. When computer use and video games are included, time spent in front of a screen increases to over 5½ hours a day!
- Increased consumption, especially of unhealthy foods – From fat-laden fast food to prepackaged meals and snacks to readily available soft drinks and other sugar-filled beverages to increased portion sizes, kids today are eating more nutritionally-dense foods and in greater quantities.
To make matters worse, many fast food companies target children in their marketing campaigns, and some schools offer soft drinks and junk food to students.
Fortunately, there is hope for obese children. With help and guidance from the adults in their lives, their weight and health can be improved.
The CFF want to help the schools, parents, and the children to help these children learn how to successfully combat childhood obesity in a fun and productive way.
HOW TO MAKE A DIFFERENCE
- Don't reward children with food. Candy and snacks as a reward encourage bad habits. Find other ways to celebrate good behavior.
- Practice what you preach. If you're practicing healthy habits, it's a lot easier to convince children to do the same. Incorporate healthy activities into the time you spend with children. Take walks, ride bikes, go swimming, garden or just play hide-and-seek outside. Everyone will benefit from the exercise and the time together.
- Limit TV, video game, and computer time.
- Be an advocate for healthier children. Insist on good food choices at school cafeterias and vending machines.
- Bring kid-friendly, healthy snacks to classroom parties and other school events.
- Get kids to be active at your child’s next birthday party by having inflatables to play on, roller skating, kickball, football, hide and seek, or playing picnic games. NOT playing video games.
- Encourage your child to take part in local youth activities in their community. Football, baseball, softball, basketball, cheerleading, soccer, swimming, and many other sports are available for your child to take part in. They do cost to be in and many have grants to help and in the long run they cost a lot less than a video game console and all the games.
- Call Rob Brown at 931-320-2976 and get the CFF to bring Trixy to your school or organization and set up a program designed to help get your children fighting childhood obesity successfully.
- Call your local parks & recreation office and see what community sports are available for your children to take part in.