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National Childhood Obesity Awareness Month

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Global (Commonwealth Union) – September is National Childhood Obesity Awareness Month in the USA, which is dedicated to raise awareness about the pressing issue of childhood obesity and its far-reaching implications. However, the issue goes well beyond the USA and has emerged as one of the most significant public health challenges of our time, affecting millions of children and adolescents Worldwide.

Childhood obesity is defined as having a body mass index (BMI) at or above the 95th percentile for children of the same age and sex. While genetics can play a role, the primary causes of childhood obesity are often modifiable lifestyle factors, including poor diet, insufficient physical activity, and sedentary behaviors.

Poor Diet with high consumption of processed foods, sugary beverages, and snacks that are high in calories but low in nutritional value are leading causes of childhood obesity. These dietary choices can lead to excessive calorie intake and an imbalance in nutrient consumption.

Lack of Physical Activity in many children has led to sedentary lives, spending hours in front of screens and reducing the time they spend engaged in physical activity. The decline in physical activity contributes significantly to obesity rates.

Socioeconomic status can also influence childhood obesity. Children from lower-income households often have limited access to affordable, healthy foods and safe recreational spaces.

Obese children are at higher risk of developing chronic conditions such as type 2 diabetes, heart disease, and hypertension. Childhood obesity can also lead to low self-esteem, depression, and social isolation, as affected children may face stigma and bullying. Obese children may struggle academically due to health-related issues and may find it challenging to participate in physical activities with their peers.

National Childhood Obesity Awareness Month serves as a platform to promote initiatives and strategies aimed at preventing and addressing childhood obesity:

Education and Awareness: Raising awareness about the importance of a balanced diet, regular physical activity, and the dangers of childhood obesity is essential. Schools, healthcare providers, and communities play a pivotal role in educating families.

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