Parents, educators, health officials asked to take action during September
Newswise — The fifth annual National Childhood Obesity Awareness Month kicked off September 1, encouraging all Americans to take steps to reduce the effects of the childhood obesity epidemic in the U.S. More than 23 million children and teenagers in the United States are overweight or obese, according to recent data. Childhood obesity is linked to high blood pressure, high cholesterol, diabetes, breathing problems, joint problems, fatty liver disease and other health concerns. The epidemic also places a financial burden on all of us: Obesity requires $14 billion per year in direct health care costs in the U.S.
COAM invites individuals to take action in their own community and organization to build awareness about the causes and implications of childhood obesity and – most important – to take steps to prevent and combat it. The COAM movement is recognized by Congress and the White House and promoted by the American College of Sports Medicine and other partners, It is an alliance of diverse advocates who recognize that eating sensibly and being physically active are keys to better health and quality of life. The American College of Sports Medicine has also partnered with Designed to Move, Hip Hop Public Health and former Olympian Jackie Joyner Kersee in support of healthier kids.
“Kids are less physically active now than any previous generation,” said Carol Ewing Garber, Ph.D., president of the American College of Sports Medicine. “Research leaves no doubt that being active is a key to maintaining fitness and a healthy weight. I hope everyone from health professionals and parents to those in corporations and community groups will do what they can to promote awareness and action toward reducing childhood obesity.”
To get involved in Childhood Obesity Awareness Month, simply determine how you can take steps to further the cause. Use the toolkit available at www.coam-month.org; adapt what others have tried; see how you can build awareness and action toward our shared goal. Look for opportunities in your organization and your community. In doing so, you are contributing to better individual health and quality of life for all. This month, you’re encouraged to take action to reverse this trend by spreading the message about the benefits of physical activity and leading a healthy lifestyle. Download our online toolkit – complete with sample PSAs, proclamations, and news releases – for quick, easy ideas for bringing Childhood Obesity Awareness Month to your community.