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News: Summer Is a Great Time To Fight Childhood Obesity

Headline

Summer Is a Great Time To Fight Childhood Obesity

Date

7/9/2015

Byline

TRICARE

Lead

With most children on summer vacation, parents may want to take this opportunity to ensure their children are getting adequate exercise and fresh air.

Body

​With most children on summer vacation, parents may want to take this opportunity to ensure their children are getting adequate exercise and fresh air. These are critical to develop children with healthy bodies and protecting them from future health problems.

According to a 2005 study, the average American child spends 44 hours per week staring at some kind of electronic screen, more than 6 hours per day. As a result, our children are overweight to the point of obesity. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reports the prevalence of obesity among children aged 6 to 11 more than doubled in the past 20 years, to 17 percent. The rate of clinically obese adolescents (aged 12-19) more than tripled, to 17.6 percent. The same report concludes that adding just one hour of moderate physical activity daily can help a child avoid the health problems associated with childhood obesity.
 
Spending more time outside is good for children beyond the weight loss and weight management benefit. Physical activity helps children deal better with stress. The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) reports that play protects children's emotional development; but less free time and a hurried lifestyle can be a source of stress, anxiety, and may contribute to depression for many children. The AAP also reports that American children, especially minorities, need more Vitamin D. Spending time outside raises levels of Vitamin D, protecting children from bone problems and other health issues.
 
While many parents are aware of immunizations and make sure to get them on time, many forget the importance of playing outside and the tremendous health benefits that it affords children. This summer, be sure your children spend time playing outside. Consider playing with them to reap your own health benefits and visit the Health and Wellness page on the TRICARE website for more healthy living ideas.

Attachments

Created at 8/7/2015 6:12 AM by Brown, Andrew J Jr CIV USARMY MEDCOM MCACH (US)
Last modified at 8/7/2015 6:12 AM by Brown, Andrew J Jr CIV USARMY MEDCOM MCACH (US)