Turning a national spotlight on child obesity

September is National Childhood Obesity Awareness Month, providing an opportunity to highlight not only the health challenges facing our children, but also the solutions that we’re promoting through our work at Jump IN for Healthy Kids.

Image of playground with warning about childhood obesity

In central Indiana 4 out of 10 children are estimated to be overweight or obese. That’s nearly a quarter million kids struggling with an unhealthy weight that puts them at risk of significant health issues.

Child obesity is linked to:

  • Heart disease and heart failure
  • High blood pressure
  • Early onset of Type 2 diabetes
  • Poor academic performance
  • Social, emotional, and behavioral problems

If we do not reverse childhood obesity trends, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention project that this generation of children will be the first to have a shorter life expectancy than their parents.

Childhood obesity infographic

Change is possible

Fortunately, we can change these trends if we have the will to create healthy environments for our children.

Research shows that children are healthier when they have real opportunities to eat nutritious foods and be physically active in those places where they spend most of their time: school, child care, youth organizations. Kids whose parents work at healthy worksites tend to have healthier habits at home as well.

Jump IN provides a robust Resource Hub to help these groups create “healthy places” for the children they serve.

But what is “healthy?”

We’re bombarded with conflicting and confusing messages about what counts as a healthy option.  So we’ve adopted a simple rule of thumb to help guide you: 5-2-1-0.

Every day, follow this recommendation: eat 5 servings of fruits and veggies, get away from the TV or computer screen after 2 hours, be active for at least 1 hour, and drink 0 sugary drinks–enjoy water, 100% fruit juice or low fat milk instead. 

5-2-1-0 is a simple message that we all can practice every day for better health at any age.

Let’s 5-2-1-0 together

As we focus on child obesity in September, here’s our challenge to you: embrace the goal of adding 5-2-1-0 into your daily routine at home and at work.  Get started and see what you can do each day. To help you keep track, here’s a simple calendar to post on your refrigerator or bulletin board. Some days you’ll fare better on a 5-2-1-0 scorecard than others. Perfection isn’t the goal–steady improvement is.

Let’s do this together. By September 30th, how many of us can meet the 5-2-1-0 goals on a regular basis?

Jump IN for Healthy Kids can help your family and your business, school, or organization meet these goals to improve the health of our children in central Indiana. Check out our robust Resource Hub for tools and tips to give kids real opportunities to make healthy choices.GET RESOURCES