A young girl enjoys an orange at lunch.

Steps you can take to fight childhood obesity in the Mid-Atlantic States

JUL 17, 2018
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With childhood obesity posing a serious problem in the United States, America’s children are especially vulnerable to serious health conditions such as heart disease, cancer, high blood pressure, and asthma. This is why healthy lifestyle support and help with weight management — when appropriate — are a key part of the preventive care your child will get from Kaiser Permanente’s award-winning pediatric team in the Mid-Atlantic States.

 

The risks of childhood obesity

 

The statistics are sobering — nearly 1 in 3 children in America is already overweight or obese, and 1 in 3 children born within the last 20 years will be diagnosed with type 2 diabetes during some point in their lives. Overweight children are also at higher risk for developing social and emotional problems. They may even have shorter lifespans than those of their parents.

 

An ounce of prevention

 

This is why Kaiser Permanente offers classes, programs, and regular lifestyle tips through Partners in Health to give your family the tools to maintain a healthy lifestyle and prevent future weight-related health issues.

 

Even if your child is already at a healthy weight, these tips will set your child up for a lifetime of healthy habits:

 

  • Make sure your child engages in some kind of physical activity for 60 minutes a day at least 5 days each week.
  • Encourage your child to participate in organized sports, where they can build relationships, strength, endurance, and coordination.
  • Limit screen time to no more than 2 hours per day, including TV and other devices such as tablets or smartphones.
  • Start the morning with a hearty and wholesome breakfast that includes lean protein, complex carbs, and fiber. Eggs and fruit are a great option.
  • Curb junk food cravings by keeping chips and sweets out of the house. Out of sight, out of mind.
  • Limit processed foods, especially those with high levels of sugar and sodium. When snack time hits, reach for fruit, veggies and dip, cheese, or nuts instead.
  • Encourage them to choose water over soft drinks and sweetened juices.
  • Eat meals as a family as often as possible to help children learn mindful eating.
  • Never underestimate the power of a good night’s sleep. If your child has trouble sleeping, check here for solutions that can help.

Get more tips on how to help your child build healthy habits.

 

Coordinated care for your child

 

If your child is already overweight or has other conditions, Kaiser Permanente’s coordinated pediatric care will provide them with the care they need, when they need it. Your child’s primary care doctor, specialists, and entire care team will work together to map out a plan for your child’s well-being. Primary care, lab, radiation, pharmacy, and even urgent care are usually located all in one place, to make getting care for your child as convenient and easy as possible.

 

Convenient access to care — anytime, anywhere

 

When life gets busy, it can be tough to find time for in-person appointments. That’s why Kaiser Permanente lets you connect with a pediatrician by phone, email, or even video visit. And whether you get care remotely or in person, you can count on a coordinated team of providers dedicated to your child’s needs.

 

Between appointments, visit kp.org to refill your child’s prescriptions, check most lab results, and email your pediatrician with any questions you have.

 

Learn more about Kaiser Permanente’s commitment to pediatric care excellence in the Mid-Atlantic States.

 

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TOPICSfitnessMid-Atlantic StatesNutritionpediatric health