Childhood Obesity Facts

obess girlThe “Let’s MOve” Campaign shared that in recent years, obesity rates for preschool-aged children have declined slightly but still remain much too high. Children who are overweight or obese as preschoolers are five times more likely to become obese adults than normal weight children.

  • Approximately 23 percent of children aged two to five years are overweight or obese.
  • Obesity rates for young children doubled in about a 20 year period of time (1980s – 2000s).
  • One out of eight low-income, preschool-aged children is obese.
  • Some children are at higher risk for obesity: American Indian and Alaska Native (20.7%) and Hispanic (17.9%) children aged two to four years have the highest rates of obesity.

Read more about the prevalence of child obesity in the United States.

Childhood Obesity Consequences

obess kid on scaleThe “Let’s Move” Campaign shared that children who are overweight or obese can be undernourished at the same time if the foods and beverages they consume are not very nutritious in terms of vitamins and minerals. Nutrition deficiencies impair brain development and cognitive functioning, including learning. Energy needed for optimal child growth and development is impacted by diet.

Obesity increases the likelihood of certain diseases and health problems, such as:

  • Heart disease
  • Type 2 diabetes
  • Cancer
  • Sleep apnea and respiratory problems
  • Hypertension
  • High blood cholesterol
  • Stroke
  • Osteoarthritis
  • Gynecological problems
  • Liver and gallbladder disease

Obese children also face more social and psychological problems, such as discrimination and poor self-esteem, which can continue into adulthood.
Children who are not physically active, regardless of their weight status, have more behavioral and disciplinary problems, shorter attention spans in class and do not perform as well in school compared to active children.

5 tips for keeping kids healthy in school

Back to schoolAnn Piccininni, Daily Herald Correspondent, shared that the bell is about to ring, heralding the start of a new school year. As parents take children shopping for backpacks and other necessary supplies, medical professionals remind parents and students that preparing for school isn’t only about buying the right educational tools.

Cultivating a few simple habits can help make the year a healthier one, said Dr. Julie Miaczynski, family medicine physician at Edward Medical Group in the Edward Healthcare Center in Plainfield.

Wash hands

“As kids go back to school, because of the nature of the environment, the close proximity to each other, we see a spike in colds, flu, that type of thing,” she said. “We remind people of really good hand-washing habits.”

Frequent washing won’t prevent all microbial threats from causing illness. Inevitably, hands will come into contact with some nasty germs.

“Try to avoid touching the face. That’s really important,” she said.

When students come home from school each day, they potentially and unwittingly bring germs with them. Miaczynski recommends families take steps to stop the spread of germs before they infect family members.

“Around the house, wipe down knobs and handles,” she said. Stepped-up routine cleaning can help prevent colds and flu germs from getting a foothold in the household.”

Read more

FREE PROGRAMS FOR CHILDREN STRUGGLING WITH WEIGHT

proactive-kidsA new school year has begun and school physicals are well under way!  As a clinician, you will see many overweight children over the next few weeks and we hope you remember to tell them there is a place where they can get help –

ProActive Kids is a health education program offered FREE to children ages 8-14 who are considered obese or overweight and their families.

 Click here for more information on the complete program.  

There is a ProActive Kids program in your community where you can refer your patients. We will help them learn how to live a healthier lifestyle!

TO REFER A CHILD OR FAMILY   Please refer patients, students or parents to the ProActive Kids website at www.proactivekids.org  or ask them to call 630-681-1558.

LOCATIONS FOR FALL 2015 (Sept 21 – Nov 13)
ProActive Kids locations are made possible by the following generous funding sources. 

Addison, IL — At Club Fitness at Addison Park District, Funded by Edward-Elmhurst Healthcare

Downers Grove, IL  — At Good Samaritan Health and Wellness Center, Funded by Advocate Good Samaritan Hospital

Melrose Park, IL — At Gottlieb Memorial Hospital,  Funded by Loyola University Health System

 Oak Lawn, IL — At Oak Lawn Ice Arena – Oak Lawn Park District, Funded by Advocate Children’s Hospital Oak Lawn

Park Ridge/Niles, IL — At Gemini  Junior High School, Funded by Advocate Children’s Hospital Park Ridge

 Woodridge, IL — At Edward Health and Fitness Center, Funded by Edward-Elmhurst Healthcare

 

FREE PROGRAMS FOR CHILDREN STRUGGLING WITH WEIGHT

proactive-kidsProActive Kids is a health education program offered FREE to children ages 8-14 who are considered obese or overweight and their families.

As a doctor, nurse, dietitian, trainer or other industry professional, you will see many overweight children this summer, and we hope you will remember to tell them about ProActive Kids 8 Week Program.  Click here for more information on the complete program.  

We are reaching out to you to let you know there is a ProActive Kids program in your community where you can refer your patients or clients.

 TO REFER A CHILD OR FAMILY

Please refer patients, students or parents to the ProActive Kids website or give them a flyer and tell them to contact ProActive Kids for more information:  www.proactivekids.org or 630-681-1558.

  Read more

Program helps kids and families get healthy

downloadDaily Herald writer Marie Wilson did a great story on Pro-Active Kids.  I though you might like to read about this fantastic program:

Families struggling with weight issues and obesity typically don’t have the advanced degrees it takes to understand the chemical complexities of food and nutrition, but suburban hospitals might have a solution.

Programs that teach the principles of healthy eating to a combined audience of overweight kids and their parents are available through hospitals such as Alexian Brothers andAdvocate Good Samaritan, and participants say they’re taking the mystery out of developing a healthy lifestyle.

Health professionals say bringing children and parents together for lessons on weight loss and exercise helps families change in unison.

“If you isolate the kids, the family doesn’t get the same kind of information and it’s not reinforced,” said Marcy Traxler, who has run the Fit Kids program at St. Alexius Medical Center in Hoffman Estates for the past five years.

Read more

Rethink Your Drink Video Sweepstakes Ends Friday!

IAPO

OFFICIAL RULES

General Sweepstakes Information

  • The sponsor of this sweepstakes is the Illinois Public Health Institute (IPHI), which administers the Illinois Alliance to Prevent Obesity (IAPO). IPHI is located at 954 West Washington Boulevard, Suite 405, Mailbox 10, Chicago, IL
  • This is a sweepstakes to illustrate for Illinois residents that it is easy to make low-sugar beverages — and delicious too!

Who May Enter

  • The sweepstakes is open to all residents of the State of Illinois who are 18 years old or older as of February 16, 2015.
  • Employees of the Illinois Public Health Institute and Obesity Action Roadmap endorsing member organizations of the Illinois Alliance to Prevent Obesity, their immediate family members (spouse, parent, child, sibling, and their respective spouses), and persons living in the same household of such employees (whether related or not) are not eligible to enter this sweepstakes.

How to Enter

  • Online submissions will be accepted beginning on Monday, February 16, 2015 at 9:00:00 a.m. Central Daylight Time and ending on Friday, March 6, 2015 at 11:59:59 p.m. Central Daylight Time, according to IPHI’s computers. Mailed submissions must be postmarked between February 16, 2015 and March 6, 2014 and must be received by IPHI no later than March 12, 2015.

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Village Proclaims Fitness February

DSCN1152The Village of Lombard Proclaimed the 2nd month of 2015 at Fitness February Month:

WHEREAS, Healthy Lombard was formed in 2009 as a Village-wide initiative to address childhood obesity and promote healthy living throughout the Village of Lombard; and

WHEREAS, under the umbrella of the name “Healthy Lombard” over 40 businesses and organizations have joined together usint the Triple “A” Approachof Awareness, Activities, and Achievement to address this need by providing our community with iesources and information on healthy living ; and

WHEREAS, many children and adults make a resolution each January to adopt a healthier lifestyle, but often need a boost to their resolve a few weeks later;

NOW, THEREFORE, I, Keith T. Giagnorio, President of the Village of Lombard,

• Officially proclaim the second month of the year as “Fitness February” in the Village of Lombard;

• Congratulate all the children, adults, and businesses who will receive a Health Hero certificates for practicing and promoting healthy living;

• Remind members of our community who want to make a change in their lifestyle to visit the Healthy Lombard websites ;

•Invite the entire community to visit the Healthy Lombard Fitness February Fair that will be held on February 28, from 10 AM until 2 PM, at Yorktown Center; and

• Recognize the Healthy Lombard Model as a blueprint for other villages and towns to follow in order to make a difference in the health of future generations.

Rethinking Your Drink?

summer-workout-austinElle Penner, M.P.H., R.D., the Registered Dietitian and Food & Nutrition Editor at MyFitnesssPal, as well as an active runner and food-enthusiast shared that the reasons to stop drinking soda are abundant. Whether you want to cut down on empty calories and added sugars, consume less artificial sweeteners, wean off of caffeine, or even save money, ditching soda is a great place to start.

I actually used to be a big soda drinker–the diet type in particular. Something about it being calorie-free gave me permission to drink it with reckless abandon–so I did. At one point, I consumed more soda than water throughout the course of the day.

Back in 2006 I decided I wanted to rid myself of a dependence on artificial sweeteners, so naturally I started with soda. Over the course of about a year I went from drinking 2-3 sodas per day to 2 to 3 per month. I still very much enjoy a cola with my cheeseburger and french fries, but now that I drink it so much less frequently, I have no problem treating myself to the real deal.

As a former soda-drinker myself, I thought I’d share some tips and tricks I found helpful along the way for those of you who also want to get off the sweet stuff:

1. Be okay with scaling back slowly. If you drink 3+ sodas a day, switching to tap water cold turkey will most likely make every sip feel like a punishment… not to mention induce some serious caffeine withdrawal headaches. I bet you can rather painlessly replace 3 sodas per week with tap or sparkling water, though. Heck, maybe even 1 per day! Whatever the number, make it reasonable. Soda has not, and will not kill you over the next few weeks or months while you gradually get off of it. Over time, you’ll miss those first few sodas less and less and eventually you’ll be ready to cut out one or two more.

 

2. Get on a soda schedule. Keeping #1 in mind, jot down a schedule for weaning your soda consumption. By writing a plan, you’re thinking through and committing to a reasonable approach to drinking less. For example, if you normally drink 3 sodas per day, cut down to 2 per day for an entire month, and then 1 per day the month after. From there, you can gradually cut down even further. Allow yourself 5 per week for the 3rd month, 4 per week for the 4th month, and so on.

Read more

Rethink Your Drink Campaign

RTYD_Banner2-1024x317One of the objectives in the IAPO Obesity Action Roadmap is to “increase consumption of healthy food and beverages in relation to consumption of unhealthy food and beverages that have minimal nutritional value, such as sugar-sweetened beverages and calorie-dense, low-nutrition fast foods.”  More

Passing a penny-per-ounce excise tax on sugary drinks is a long-term goal the coalition defined to help reach the over-arching objective. IAPO members have focused on mobilizing, educating, and advocating with community residents, leaders, and policymakers to reduce access to and consumption of sugar-sweetened beverages since the start of IAPO.

A Rethink Your Drink 2014 campaign was kicked off with Illinois Governor Pat Quinn declaring February, 2014 as “Rethink Your Drink Month” in Illinois.  More

In the fall of 2013, IAPO developed its first ever legislative agenda for the spring 2014 session of the Illinois General Assembly. Included on the agenda was the Healthy Eating Active Living (HEAL) Act, which placed a penny per ounce excise tax on sugary beverages with revenues going to community prevention (50%) and the Illinois Medicaid program (50%).

Governed by a state Council of Agencies with input from an Advisory Board, the funds would help support nutrition and physical activity initiatives, local food systems, school health and wellness, public health departments and infrastructure, active transportation, oral health, and expansion of Medicaid prevention services. While the bill did not pass in the spring 2014 legislative session, IAPO will continue to advocate for this legislative proposal as one tool that could reduce obesity in Illinois.

For quick and fun ideas on how to participate, view the IAPO Rethink Your Drink Toolkit.

Rethink Your Drink Tools and Resources

Join us by hosting educational events in your community and/or sending out educational messages about the health impacts of sugary beverages and how people can take steps to rethink their drinks and reduce consumption of sugary beverages through policy and environmental strategies.