Childhood Obesity Awareness Month

September is Childhood Obesity Awareness Month. Did you know that one in three children in the United States is overweight or obese? Children with obesity are at a greater risk of developing other health problems like asthma, sleep apnea, bone and joint problems, and type 2 diabetes.


There are many factors that influence childhood obesity, making it difficult to prevent and treat. For one, diet has a significant impact on weight and obesity risk. Eating excess calories, saturated fat, and sugar contributes to weight gain. These foods high in calories, saturated fat, and sugar are widely available, inexpensive, and oftentimes are what’s most appealing to children, making it hard for children to decrease intake. An inactive lifestyle can also increase the risk of obesity. Eating too many calories combined with insufficient exercise can make it even more difficult to prevent overweight and obesity. Older children and adolescents are especially likely to not sleep enough, and inadequate sleep can also contribute to childhood obesity.


Weight gain is a part of healthy child development and growth, so it can be hard to know what the balance is between healthy weight gain and too much weight gain. Here are some ways to help your children grow without gaining too much weight:


  • Regular Pediatrician Visits: Your child’s pediatrician can use growth charts and your child’s height and weight to determine if they’re growing at a healthy rate. Annual physicals by a pediatrician can help catch any excess weight gain early and prevent progression to obesity.


  • Promote a Healthy Lifestyle: Providing adequate drinking water, fruits, vegetables, whole grains, low-fat dairy, and lean protein can help ensure your children are eating enough nutritious foods and less of the foods that can lead to weight gain, such as chips, desserts, and sugar-sweetened beverages. Be a role model for your children by eating nutritious foods, getting enough sleep, and exercising every day.
  • Shape a Healthy School Environment: Knowing your children are in a healthy school environment can give you confidence that they’re in a healthy environment both at home and away from home. Encourage school officials to provide opportunities for children to get physical activity at school through recess, gym class, in-class activities, and after-school sports. Also, you may suggest removing or decreasing access to vending machines and other snacks provided at lunch that contribute to weight gain.


Children with obesity are more likely to be obese as adults and develop many health problems, so now is the time to take action and prevent obesity for children and adolescents!


Don’t let holiday eating weigh you down!

Worried holiday weight gain will weigh you down? Then sign up for the 2016 Eat Smart, Move More, Maintain, don’t gain! Holiday Challenge.

The average weight gain over the holidays is between 1 and 5 pounds. This may seem little but most people never manage to lose it.


This FREE seven-week challenge provides participants with tips, tricks, and ideas to help maintain weight throughout the holidays. The challenge runs from November 14 through December 31.

In 2015, all 50 states, along with Canada, participated in the Holiday Challenge. North Carolina ranked 1st for state participation with 44% of all participants! Results of the 2015 Holiday Challenge were impressive and showed that 67% maintained their weight and 18% lost 3-5 pounds during the Holidays. Fantastic!

Learn more about the Holiday Challenge and how to enroll for FREE:

When you sign up, you’ll have access to the following:
• Weekly Newsletters
• Daily Tips
-Survive a holiday party
-Host a healthy Thanksgiving
-Manage holiday stress
• Weekly Challenges
• Healthy holiday recipes
• Prizes and weekly winners
• Support through social media
-Share progress on Facebook
-Recipes on Pinterest
-Tips on Twitter
• Support group on
Free webinar presented by Dr. Carolyn Dunn of NC State University.
• A worksite guide for employers
• New this year: Virtual walking race (through Iceland!) for some friendly competition and to boost motivation


Maintain Not Gain Weight This Holiday Season

The first day of November marks the start of the holiday season. This means parties, food and fun for the next two months. If you’re like most Americans, you may end up gaining between 1 to 5 pounds. It’s no surprise when many holiday dishes are high in calories, fat, and sugar. This season, strive to maintain not gain weight. Follow these simple strategies to help you be healthy and happy during the holidays:

  • Before your holiday feast, avoid skipping meals, which may result in overeating.
  • When you do eat, be sure to add high fiber foods such as fruits, vegetables, and whole grains. These foods will fill you without all the calories.
  • Go ahead and enjoy the feast but watch your portions. A sliver of pie tastes just as delicious as a large slice!
  • Use smaller plates and avoid seconds (unless you’re going back for more tossed salad).
  • If you’re in a buffet, start with the salads and fruits.
  • Eat slowly and savor every bite.
  • Get at least 30 minutes of physical activity every day.



santa on a scale