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David Morgan
575-528-5197 Office
575-649-0754 Mobile

Childhood Obesity a Problem for Parents Too

September 18, 2015 - Healthy Kids New Mexico - Information

All good parents now and again have that just scares them; that moment where we wonder where we’re failing our children.

If you’re a mom or dad, you know what I mean. You worry you’re not spending enough time with your baby, not reading enough to your toddler, not playing with them, not being there and on and on and on. For the rest of our lives, in a way, the worry never stops.

But there’s a statistic that doesn’t lie – one that shows one area where many parents really are failing their kids. I’m talking about childhood obesity.

September is National Childhood Obesity Month – and with good reason. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), one out of every five children in America is obese, and with that fact comes nothing but trouble for children.

Obese children face bullying at school. Children who are obese today are more likely to be obese as adults, leading to lifelong physical and mental health problems including diabetes. They’ll even be at increased risk of certain cancers. It’s a public health problem that can’t be ignored.

The New Mexico Department of Health (NMDOH) has been combatting this problem for years, and it’s seeing some change for the better for kids in our state. Childhood obesity rates among New Mexico 3rd grade students continue to decline, with a 20 percent decrease since 2010. Also, for the first time since the Department began collecting Body Mass Index (BMI) data in 2010, obesity prevalence rates in New Mexico kindergarten students is lower than it was in 2010, going from 13.2 percent to 11.6 percent in 2014. Talk about change for the better.

Parents can also do their part to promote change for the better themselves. Here’s some great tips:

  • To help children maintain a healthy weight, energy balance is important. To get and keep this balance, parents can make sure children get adequate sleep, follow recommendations on daily screen time (no more than two hours a day), take part in regular physical activity, and eat the right amount of calories.
  • Parents can substitute higher nutrient, lower calorie foods such as fruit and vegetables in place of foods with higher-calorie ingredients, such as added sugars and solid fats.
  • Parents can serve children fruit and vegetables at meals and as snacks.
  • Parents can ensure access to water as a no-calorie alternative to sugar-sweetened beverages.
  • Parents can help children get the recommended amount of physical activity (one hour per day) each day by encouraging them to participate in activities that are age-appropriate and enjoyable.

NMDOH’s Healthy Kids New Mexico program offers some great ideas to help families stay fit, including its HKNM 5-2-1-0 Challenge. Learn more by visiting Healthy Kids New Mexico.


Media Contact

We would be happy to provide additional information about this press release. Simply contact David Morgan at 575-528-5197 (Office) or 575-649-0754 (Mobile) with your questions.


Versión en Español

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La Obesidad Intantil También un Problema de los Padres