Obesity in Children

Over the past three decades, childhood obesity rates in America have tripled, and today, nearly one in three children in America are overweight or obese. One third of all children born in 2000 or later will suffer from diabetes at some point in their lives. Obesity is dangerous because it can set the stage for adolescent and adult health problems such as high blood pressure, type 2 diabetes and high cholesterol. It is also linked with early onset of puberty and obese children are more likely to become obese as adults. Many others will face chronic obesity-related health problems like cancer and asthma.


Parents and caregivers can do quite a bit to prevent childhood obesity, but it takes a concerted effort.


·         Be aware of and respond to your child’s feeding cues. Know when your child is hungry and when they are full. Avoid insisting on a clean plate and avoid eating on the run.

·         Breastfeed if at all possible!

·         Offer nutritious meals and snacks. Sitting down for a meal is best. Snacks, when needed, can be a way of providing additional nutrition and fluids.

·         Avoid fast food… Avoid fast food… Avoid fast food.

·         Offer water to drink. Avoid juices, sodas and milk. Instead, offer milk substitutes such as almond or rice milk. (Use soy milk sparingly until the child is past puberty stage.)

·         Avoid screen time – television, videos, computer games, etc.

·         Do not use food or treats as a reward or punishment.

·         Be a good model. Eat what is served and stop eating when no longer hungry.

·         Incorporate active play into the daily schedule. It’s fun and healthy!

·         When choosing child care, make sure the above criterion are followed by the program and staff.


At the federal level, First Lady Michelle Obama began a national conversation about the health of America’s children when she broke ground on the White House Kitchen Garden with students from a local elementary school in Washington, DC. Through the garden, she began a discussion with kids about nutrition and the role food plays in living a healthy life. That discussion grew into the Let’s Move! campaign.


The Let’s Move! campaign, has an ambitious national goal of solving the challenge of childhood obesity within a generation so that children born today will reach adulthood at a healthy weight.


At the launch of the campaign, President Barack Obama signed a Presidential Memorandum creating the first ever Task Force on Childhood Obesity to conduct a review of every single program and policy relating to child nutrition and physical activity and develop a national action plan to maximize federal resources and set concrete benchmarks toward the First Lady’s national goal.

Not sure what the end result of this campaign will look like, but we hope it will help parents make more informed decisions about diet and nutrition.


For more information, visit the following websites:


American Academy of Pediatrics

Center for Disease Control

Mayo Clinic


Child Care Health





Baby Slings & Wraps

Car Safety

Co-Sleeping with Baby

Parents Television Council

Sun Safe Ideas

Water Safety


Subpages (1): Meal Patterns