Bradford Tioga Head Start
Bradford-Tioga Head Start, Inc. recognizes
"National Childhood Obesity Month”
Did you know?
· Children with obesity are at higher risk of having other chronic health conditions and diseases that influence physical health. These include asthma, sleep apnea, bone and joint problems, type 2 diabetes, and risk factors for heart disease.
· In the long term, a child with obesity is more likely to have obesity as an adult. An adult with obesity has a higher risk of developing heart disease, type 2 diabetes, metabolic syndrome, and many types of cancer.
· Children with obesity are bullied more than their “normal weight” peers and are more likely to suffer from social isolation, depression, and lower self-esteem.
Did you know that Childhood Obesity is preventable?
In the United States, the percentage of children and adolescents affected by obesity has more than tripled since the 1970s. Data from 2015-2016 show that nearly 1 in 5 school age children and young people (6 to 19 years) in the United States has obesity.
Obesity is defined as having excess body fat. Body mass index (BMI) is a widely used screening tool for measuring obesity. BMI is a person’s weight divided by the square of a person’s height. Scientists have found that BMI is moderately related to direct measures of body fatness.
Centers for Disease Control (CDC) recommends that health professionals use BMI percentile when measuring the bodies of children and young people aged 2 to 20 years. BMI percentile takes into account that young people are still growing and are growing at different rates depending on their age and sex. Health professionals use growth charts to determine whether a young person’s weight falls into a healthy range for his or her height, age, and sex.
· CDC defines overweight in children and young people as a BMI at or above the 85th percentile and less than the 95th percentile for young people of the same age and sex.
· CDC defines obesity in children and young people as BMI at or above the 95th percentile for young people of the same age and sex.
Childhood Obesity Is Influenced by Many Factors
Many factors can have an impact on childhood obesity, including eating and physical activity behaviors, genetics, metabolism, family and home environment, and community and social factors. For some children and families, obesity may be influenced by the following:
There Are Ways Parents Can Help Prevent Obesity and Support Healthy Growth in Children
To help ensure that children have a healthy weight, energy balance is important. There are many things parents can do to help their children maintain a healthy weight.
Bradford-Tioga Head Start, Inc’s. impact on Childhood Obesity
Bradford-Tioga Head Start, Inc. has made and continues to make many strides in the prevention of Childhood Obesity.
· Children’s BMIs are calculated twice during the program year. Concerns regarding BMIs are discussed with parents/guardians and addressed with health care providers, if needed.
· Children are offered nutritious meals and snacks that meet Child and Adult Care Food Program/USDA requirements and are low in fat, sugar, and salt.
· Teachers integrate at least 60 minutes of moderate to vigorous physical activity into their lesson plan every day.
· Early Head Start Family Partners complete a “Gross Motor” activity at every visit with each enrolled child.
In addition to all of the above, Bradford-Tioga Head Start, Inc. partners with the “Family Health and Eating Lab” at The Pennsylvania State University for a nutrition education program called “Healthy Kids Club”. The goal of the “Healthy Kids Club” is to decrease the obesity risk among low-income families by improving eating habits and increasing physical activity. Heather McCarthy, A Nutrition Educator with Penn State, provides lessons to children in the Head Start classrooms throughout the program year. Heather uses a curriculum that makes learning to eat healthy and increasing physical activity fun for the whole family!
For more information regarding Childhood Obesity, visit the Centers for Disease Control website @ cdc.gov/features/childhoodobesity