Thursday, September 19, 2013

Guest Post: National Childhood Obesity Awareness Month by Laura Valentino

Spread the word! September is National Childhood Obesity Awareness Month (COAM). Childhood obesity in the United States is an epidemic, as 23 million children and teenagers ages 2 to 19 are overweight or obese. This is the perfect time to join forces with local and national organizations to inform and encourage everyone to take part in promoting healthy lifestyles. 

The facts
*One in three children in the United States is overweight or obese.
*Overweight and obese children are at greater risk for chronic disease such as heart disease, arthritis, asthma, and sleep apnea.
*Overweight and obese children are at greater risk for bullying, depression, and anxiety.
*The direct health care costs attributed to childhood obesity is $14 billion per year. 

What can you do?
*Download the tool kit from . The toolkit provides a fact sheet, tips and suggestions to promote COAM, sample letter to the editor, sample news release, social media message suggestions, and more!

Ideas for parents
*Make small changes like incorporating more fresh fruit and vegetables, eating at home more often, limiting screen time, and exercising together as a family.

Ideas for teachers and other school personnel
*Incorporate health education, physical activity, and nutrition into the student’s day.

American College of Sports Medicine.  (n. d.). About September 2013 national childhood obesity awareness month. Retrieved from

Laura Valentino is a first-year Health Studies doctoral student at Texas Woman’s University. Laura is originally from Southern California and will be happy when her first Texas summer is over! She has diverse research interests ranging from obesity prevention and control, autoimmune disease, health disparities, and family caregiver stress. She is most passionate about teaching and is happy to talk about all things teaching and learning related. As a former state police dispatcher, she cannot help but read license plates using the phonetic alphabet.  She can be reached at lvalentino @ or find her on Instagram (reddyvalentino).

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