We all know there is an obesity problem in the United States. A recent New York Times article says that nine states have reported an obesity rate at or above 30 percent. In 2007, there were only two states that reported such high obesity rates. The article continues to say:
“The increases mean that 2.4 million more people became obese from 2007 to 2009, bringing the total to 72.5 million, or 26.7 percent of the population…Researchers blame the usual suspects: too little exercise and too much of the wrong kind of food…children do not get enough exercise during the school day.”
One popular school of thought is to focus on educating children about healthy living, including healthy food choices and the importance of regular exercise. Not to say that “you can’t teach an old dog new tricks,” but it is certainly easy to instill these principles at a young age.
That is why, for National Health Center Week (NHCW; August 8 – 14), the Lake County Health Department and Community Health Center (LCHD/CHC; Waukegan, IL) will be encouraging families to take steps to encourage health lifestyles—specifically, preventing childhood obesity. LCHD/CHC is promoting the Consortium to Lower Obesity in Children’s program 5-4-3-2-1 Go! ™. This program recommends:
- 5 servings of fruits and vegetables a day
- 4 servings of water a day
- 3 servings of low-fat dairy a day
- 2 or less hours of screen time a day
- 1 or more hour of physical activity a day
LCHD/CHC will be promoting this program at its six Community Health Center sites during National Health Center Week. What will your health center be doing during NHCW? Let us know!