SILVER SPRING, Md., Sept. 1, 2021 /PRNewswire/ -- As the COVID-19 pandemic continues, children will be returning to the classroom this fall with the need to stay healthy. Schools are in a unique position to promote healthy behaviors such as access to nutritious foods and physical activity. With that in mind, The Obesity Society (TOS) will recognize
National Childhood Obesity Awareness Month (NCOAM) for September with weekly themes and resources.
"The Obesity Society remains committed to tackling childhood obesity from all angles including the promotion of healthy behaviors and providing resources and information to families about the various weight management treatment options available. We owe it to our kids to provide them with the means to properly manage their body weight to help set the stage for a bright and healthy future," said Aaron Kelly, co-chair of the TOS Education Committee and professor of pediatrics at the University of Minnesota in Minneapolis.
Childhood obesity is a serious problem in the United States, putting children and adolescents at risk for poor health. For children and adolescents aged 2-19 years in 2017-2018, the prevalence of obesity was 19.3% and affected about 14.4 million children and adolescents. Obesity prevalence was 13.4% among 2- to 5-year-olds, 20.3% among 6- to 11-year-olds, and 21.2% among 12- to 19-year-olds. Childhood obesity is more common among certain populations such as Hispanics and non-Hispanic blacks compared to non-Hispanic white youth, according to the CDC.
September's observance provides an opportunity to raise awareness of this critical public health concern. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's (CDC) Division of Nutrition, Physical Activity and Obesity will recognize the month with weekly themes to highlight the importance of preventing childhood obesity that TOS will share with its membership. During the week of Sept. 7–12, the focus will be on the importance of access to fruits and vegetables, in alignment with Have a Plant's National Fruits and Veggies Month. For the week of Sept. 13–19, NCOAM will emphasize physical activity. Regular physical activity can help children maintain a healthy weight. All children need 60 minutes of activity every day, according to the CDC.
"Childhood is a key time to establish healthful eating habits, focusing on unprocessed foods such as fruits and vegetables and to incorporate physical activity into daily routines to help prevent obesity. The CDC provides many resources and tools for families to help support healthy behaviors," said Ania Jastreboff, MD, PhD, co-chair of the TOS Clinical Care Committee and associate professor of medicine and pediatrics (endocrinology) at Yale University School of Medicine in New Haven, Conn.
TOS will mark National Childhood Obesity Awareness Month by highlighting resources such as patient information pages for healthcare providers on its website and tools from the CDC. Social media posts will be featured throughout the month of September on the Society's Facebook and Twitter pages. Member and non-member communications will feature pediatric obesity sessions scheduled for the Society's annual meeting at ObesityWeek®. A virtual thematic journal will feature a select number of articles from the Society's flagship journal, Obesity.
The Obesity Society (TOS) is the leading organization of scientists and health professionals devoted to understanding and reversing the epidemic of obesity and its adverse health, economic and societal effects. Combining the perspective of researchers, clinicians, policymakers and patients, TOS promotes innovative research, education and evidence-based clinical care to improve the health and well-being of all people with obesity. For more information, visit www.obesity.org.
CONTACT: Chanel Carrington (formerly Kristin D. Collins) Director of Communications The Obesity Society 240-485-1950 or 301-708-8418 [email protected]