Childhood Obesity Awareness Month
September is National Childhood Obesity Awareness Month. NCOAM’s purpose is to raise awareness about childhood obesity because, in most cases, it’s preventable. According to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, childhood obesity puts kids at risk for health problems that once were only seen in adults, like heart disease, high blood pressure, and type 2 diabetes.
Nearly one in five high school children in Mississippi is obese, and this statistic is not abnormal for our state. Obesity in Mississippi children and students has historically been among the highest in the nation. Luckily, our past doesn’t have to predict our future. According to the Mississippi State department of health, significant progress has been made in our education and social service programs to abet this problem.
Mississippi schools have begun to change their approach to nutrition and exercise, two highly contributing factors to obesity. There’s also a positive trend in parents or guardians of children becoming more informed about healthy living as a whole which allows for positive examples to be set. For a better future for our state, we should be supporting our education system, the parents, and ultimately the children in their pursuit of healthier habits.
If you want to learn more about Childhood Obesity Awareness month, check out the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services’ overview at https://health.gov/news/news-and-announcements/2018/09/toolkit-national-childhood-obesity-awareness-month. For more information on actionable steps to take, browse Mississippi State Department of Health’s recommendations at https://msdh.ms.gov/msdhsite/_static/43,14258,289.html.