Helping Children Fight Obesity in Schools of USA
A release in August showed that 14.5% of children aged 2 to 4 years are having obesity in the US. Additionally, 15.6% of high school-goers are overweight while 18.7% of high school students drank soda at least once a day. Obesity among children has many health complications, adding to high expenses for medical. Isn’t it a concern?
Major Causes of Obesity among Children in the US:
- Lack of information about health and nutritional values of the foods
- Lack of proper awareness about the risks of obesity
- Improper attention towards diets of children at school and even in homes
- Limited food choices
- Lack of exercise and consumption of fat by the body
Now, when the children are in schools who can give them dietary tips? Of course teachers! So, this post focuses on how teachers and schools in the US can help children reduce the rate of obesity? Though teachers and the school have a limited ability to influence family eating habits, they can innovate at schools. For this, organizing workshops and incentives for families to learn about nutrition and exercise can be really impactful. But, the problem is -at school times, most parents have their offices. The solution is –online sessions!
How This All Will Influence Obesity?
We are talking about obesity among children. Now, you might have seen Public Health Officials are creating awareness, similarly, schools can create. Since a major part of a student’s life is spent in schools, they can really get the benefits of these awareness sessions. Moreover, they can influence the beliefs and habits of family diets too. All these factors will definitely lead to health-promoting behaviors. The utmost need is of creating awareness about possible complications that obesity can have. Without a perception of the seriousness of the potential health issues, it is unlikely that families will take action to engage in positive dietary habits.
It is nearly impossible going every household and influencing family. So, educating children about junk foods, harms of popularly available beverages, and risks of obesity can spread a word or message for the overall cause.
Creating Long-term Solutions
Long-term solutions need a joint effort from teachers, families, and schools. Only a collective effort can help change dietary habits and promote healthier lifestyles. Though there have been efforts like “Let’s Move” campaign (2010) aimed at reducing childhood obesity, it cannot put huge impact unless children are made aware of the things. A slow but consistent effort is required by all to nurture the children in different ways.
Some In-School Efforts For Reducing Obesity
- Organizing community cooking classes as an on-site demonstration so, families and older children can learn to make healthy meals.
- Promoting on-site efforts for students and their families such as wellness, nutritional campaigns
- Discouraging junk food outlets in the premises of schools
- Teacher-participation in schools that form community partnerships and nutrition workshops
Hope, this post will raise awareness for fighting obesity in school children.