Childhood Obesity Prevention and Intervention
“Childhood obesity has more than tripled in the last 30 years” (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention [CDC], 2008). That statistic is staggering. Data and surveys from the 1970’s to present suggest that the United States has been fighting obesity for a great deal of time and the battle continues, increasing in numbers and ever more alarming trends (Fals, 2009). Obesity has historically been treated as an adult problem, but the tripling of childhood obesity over the last three decades clearly illustrates that children are at exponentially higher risk, requiring a shift in focus. Immediate and continuing efforts are essential in the battle against childhood obesity. Prevention, education, and intervention require the involvement of not only affected children and their parents, but the public, government, and medical community as well. The government and society need to become involved in making prevention and intervention of childhood obesity a top priority. Family involvement is also critical; however, aid is needed to support and educate them. The First Lady, Michelle Obama, has been promoting a campaign (Let’s Move!) to raise awareness and help prevent childhood obesity (White House, 2011). The campaign’s checklists for parents and childcare providers contain numerous simple, but helpful tips like dietary changes, exercising, and restricting television and video game time. Similarly, We Can! ® is a program offering many resources to parents, caregivers, and local community groups. Like the latter campaign, this program also places focus on diet, exercise, and media usage. The program partners nationally with a number of organizations and media outlets to ensure families in all parts of America have access to information and help (U.S. Department of Health & Human Services [HHS], 2012). More programs like these are needed in communities and nationwide. The number of resources is...
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