The wellness habits and attitudes formed in childhood play a large role in a child’s future health. Childhood obesity rates are on the rise and current reports suggest that by 2030, half of all Americans will be obese. Why is obesity an important issue to the Prevent Cancer Foundation? We know that up to one-third of all new cancer diagnoses in the United States are related to obesity, physical inactivity and/or poor dietary habits. Today, one-third of all American children and adolescents are obese or overweight, but you can do something about it. September is Childhood Obesity Awareness Month. By educating your family, teaching your kids healthy habits and by following them yourself, you can reduce your family’s risk for cancer.
Dr. Ann Kulze, a nutrition expert and a member of the Prevent Cancer Foundation’s Medical Advisory Board, has great tips to help families eat healthy:
- Sit down for healthy family meals as often as possible.
- Children respond more to actions than words, they’ll follow suit if you make healthy food choices.
- Limit screen time, especially TV to two hours or less daily.
- Ensure that your child accumulates at least one hour of moderate to vigorous physical activity daily.
- Make sure your child eats breakfast daily.
- Restrict your child’s intake of sweet beverages (soda, fruit drinks, sports drinks and fruit juice).
- Stock your home full of healthy snack options like cut fresh veggies, nuts, seeds, low-fat cheese and yogurt, hard boiled eggs and whole fruit smoothies.
- Limit availability of fast food, junk food and sweets.
Ensuring kids eat healthy now will help reduce their risk for several diseases later on. For more information about the impact of a healthy lifestyle on cancer prevention, visit preventcancer.org.
Are you looking for a fun activity for your family? The Foundation is hosting the annual Prevent Cancer 5k Walk/Run & Health Fair this Sunday at Nationals Park in Washington, D.C. Kids under 5 are free and afterwards, they can practice their swing in the batting cages, check out the dugouts, get their face painted and more!