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September is National Childhood Obesity Awareness Month




Guest Columnist



Did you know one in three children in the U.S. is overweight or obese? North Carolina is ranked 14th in obesity among adults and children in the nation.

Childhood obesity puts kids at risk for health problems such as Type-2 diabetes, high blood pressure and heart disease.

But this can be prevented. You can work to create opportunities for children to move more and eat healthier! Healthy habits that start when you are young can last a lifetime.

Liz LaFrancis, Medical Wellness Coordinator with CaroMont Health and Fitness Center agrees.

“If you start early with physical activity and healthy behaviors, it becomes a lifestyle as children get older,” she said. “Setting the ground work for these behaviors at a young age can help decrease the risk for multiple disease processes. Getting active and making better food choices will increase the quality of life for the entire family unit.”

Her suggestions include simple ideas such as turning off the TV and turning on some music and dancing with you family.

“Go outside throw or kick a ball, walk around your neighborhood, go to the park, greenway, or hike the mountain,” she said. “Buy a fitness DVD or get one off Netflix or YouTube.  It doesn’t take much just keep your body moving.”

Over the past 30 years, the childhood obesity rate in America has almost tripled. According to the Center for Disease Control in 2010, roughly 17 percent of children and adolescents aged 2-19 were already obese. Children and teenagers who are obese are more likely to be obese as adults.

Small changes can be a great place to start:

  • Keep fresh fruit in the house
  • Eat more balanced meals and snacks
  • Go for a family walk after dinner
  • Make sure physical activity is part of your child’s day for at least 60 minutes. Also encourage this at schools!
  • Limit television/video time to no more than 1 to 2 hours a day. Encourage active play as an alternative
  • Limit consumption of sugar-sweetened beverages. Offer water and limit 100 percent juice to 4 to 6 ounces
  • Share your plan with family and friends
  • Set good habits for yourself and this will set good habits for your children!


Want to learn more about the Partnership for Children of Lincoln & Gaston Counties?


The Partnership for Children of Lincoln & Gaston Counties is your local Smart Start agency. You can reach us at 704-922-0900 or visit us online at www.pfclg.com. Our vision is a community where young children will reach their health and educational potential.


 Connect with us: www.pfclg.com; http://www.facebook.com/pfclg; Flickr, www.flickr.com/pfclg; Twitter: Ready4School


Save the Dates:


  • Apple Festival, Saturday, Sept. 21, 9 a.m.-4 p.m., Lincolnton, NC-We will have a booth in the Kids Orchard and a Street booth. Come see us!
  • The Partnership for Children of Lincoln & Gaston Counties Family Spooktacular, Saturday, Oct. 26, 12 Noon to 4 p.m., WoodMill Festival Grounds, 1350 WoodMill Winery Lane, Vale, NC.



Amy Wadsworth is Public Information Coordinator with the Partnership for Children of Lincoln & Gaston Counties.

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