September is Childhood Obesity Awareness Month in Louisiana and Across the U.S.

Childhood obesity within the U.S. has escalated within the past four decades to alarming proportions. In a fast-paced life where busy parents have little time for cooking healthy meals, more dependency on processed foods and quick meals – in addition to less physical activity and more time spent in front of the TV and other digital medias – is a recipe for unhealthy children.

One of the strongest supporters of this awareness is the first lady, Michele Obama. She has been an avid supporter and advocate for increasing awareness of this national epidemic and encourages parents and school systems to increase activity and knowledge among our youth to make measurable outcomes that will help improve the health of our nation’s youth. The “Let’s Move” program was an initiative she first launched to get schools, parents and students motivated towards this nationwide problem.

Across the country, more than 23 million kids and teens between the ages of 2 – 19 are either overweight or obese, which is simply an unacceptable statistic. Louisiana children rank among the fourth highest in the country within the 10 – 17 year old age group, as of 2011 statistics. Medical and health experts consider this to be an epidemic. These stats put nearly a third of all American kids at early risk of diabetes, heart disease, strokes, high blood pressure and other health risks associated with being overweight. These are problems more commonly associated with adults and that now young people are having to deal with.

With more knowledge and opportunities available to take action, its up to parents and schools to reverse these scary trends. You can download a free online tool kit to take part in this important health issue, not just for children in Louisiana but across the entire U.S.