September is Childhood Obesity Awareness Month

As designated by the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), September is National Childhood Obesity Month.  Nationally, roughly one in five children suffers from obesity.  In central Indiana, those numbers are worse. Jump IN for Healthy Kids is focused on changing those numbers and helping children and families lead healthier lives.  

Why is this such a problem? The causes of the obesity epidemic are numerous and complex.

Children eating healthy snack

Food has become highly processed, calorie dense, and “super-sized.” Many families lack access to affordable, healthy food. Children have fewer opportunities to play and be active, as recess and physical education classes have been reduced or cut entirely in schools. Too many kids spend too much time sitting in front of computer screens, tablets or smart phones. Many of them live in neighborhoods that lack safe places to play.  Jump IN is working to change those environments where children learn and grow, from schools to child care providers, to camps and after school programs. Jump IN is addressing food access and ensuring that our communities have healthy food options, as well as safe places to walk, bike and play. 

Data that supports that childhood overweight and obesity is extremely prevalent in central Indiana

If you are a teacher, and early childhood educator, someone interested in employer wellness, a leader of a youth-serving organization, a parent, or just a concerned citizen, we have many tools that can help you.  Our Resource Hub is full of flyers, websites, support guides, and other tools that can give you information, ideas for curriculum, family engagement tools, and fun activities that you can do as a family, at work, or in classrooms. Use the search option to narrow your results and don’t hesitate to contact us if you’re looking for something specific that you can’t find.  

As part of National Childhood Obesity Month, we encourage you to take action in your own homes.  Jump IN promotes the 5-2-1-0 concept of healthy habits.  It’s a simple, four-step set of behaviors that if you practice every day, should help you maintain a healthy weight.  The 5 means you should consume five fruits and vegetables every day, 2 means no more than two hours of recreational screen time, 1 means one hour of physical activity and 0 means zero sugar-sweetened beverages (which includes fruit drinks and sports drinks).  We encourage you to practice these habits daily – as a family, on your own, and in your place of work. 

Kids playing with a parachute outdoors