Is there more to child obesity than food?
Childhood obesity is a serious problem for many states, including South Carolina. According to 2012 data from the Centers for Disease Control, nearly 70 percent of adult South Carolinians are overweight. More than 30 percent of adults are so overweight, they’re obese.
Unfortunately, the state’s children are also affected by this growing problem. The CDC data estimates that 28 percent of South Carolina children aged 2–5 and 31 percent of adolescents are classified as either overweight or obese.
Obesity is a problem that’s bigger than simply eating healthier. The South Carolina State Nutrition, Physical Activity, and Obesity Profile, produced by the CDC’s Division of Nutrition and Physical Activity, and Obesity, has identified key factors driving the state’s obesity trend.
Many South Carolina adolescents do not eat a balanced diet. Of those surveyed:
- 91.2 percent ate vegetables less than three times per day during the seven days before the survey
- 33.2 percent drank a can, bottle, or glass of soda at least one time per day during the 7 days before the survey
Limited Physical Activity
South Carolina adolescents rarely achieve the recommended daily level of activity. Of those surveyed:
- 17.1 percent were physically active* for the recommended 60 minutes per day
- 16.8 percent attended daily physical education classes during school
- 21.3 percent did not participate in at least 60 minutes of physical activity in the week before the survey
South Carolina adolescents spent more time on passive tasks such as television. Of those surveyed:
- 39.7 percent watched television three or more hours per day on an average school day
With states, communities, schools and parents working together, we are making progress toward encouraging healthier habits. Many school and child care food programs now adhere to higher nutritional standards and make abundant physical activity a priority. Water sources are readily available while sugary sodas and juices are in limited supply.
The CDC suggests that parents help children develop healthier habits by following expert recommendations about media time for children. Be sure you (and your child care provider or school) serve healthful foods, including plenty of fruits and vegetables and limit fatty, sugary foods. When choosing beverages, provide water rather than sports drinks, fruit juice or drinks with added sugars. And finally, be sure your child gets enough physical activity every day.
Create a healthful childhood with help from www.abcquality.org.
ABC Quality is a resource for South Carolina parents. The program is administered by the SC Department of Social Services’ Division of Early Care and Education.
By ABC Quality Team on April 18, 2017