GENESEO, N.Y., Sept. 28, 2023 – September is National Childhood Obesity Awareness Month and Livingston County is encouraging residents to begin developing healthy habits that will play a critical role in establishing the building blocks of well-being for children and adolescents.
Childhood obesity in the United States is increasing at an alarming rate. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimates that nearly 20 percent of children, adolescents and teens, or roughly 14.7 million people aged 2-19, are considered obese. Furthermore, the percentage of obesity prevalence increases to as high as 22.2% in those between 12-19 years of age.
While obesity has been shown to contribute to significant health-related challenges, there are steps that can be taken to establish healthy habits early on in life including adequate sleep and reductions in screen time. Developing healthy eating habits has also been a proven method to decreasing obesity rates. Eating plenty of fruits and vegetables, lean meats, poultry, lentils and beans along with low or non-fat dairy products such as cheese and yogurt play a significant role in maintaining a healthy weight.
Exercise and physical activity also play an important role in lowering obesity rates as the CDC recommends that children ages 3-5 should be active throughout the day while those aged 6-17 should be physically active for at least one hour each day.
To help your child get enough physical activity, Livingston County recommends the following:
- Make physical activity part of your family’s routine by taking walks or playing active games together.
- Encourage children and teens to find activities to do on their own or with friends such as riding bikes or playing sports.
- Visit community centers, public parks, basketball courts and other areas where you can freely recreate.
- Encourage your child to participate in school or community activities or sports programs.
For more information on the best ways to prevent obesity in children, please visit the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s website.
About Livingston County:
Founded in 1821, Livingston County, N.Y., is home to more than 61,000 residents in 17 towns located across 631 square miles of the Finger Lakes region.
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