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A Comprehensive Approach to Addressing Childhood Obesity in Early Childhood Programs

by Joyce Anderson
May/June 2006
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Article Link: https://www.childcareexchange.com/article/a-comprehensive-approach-to-addressing-childhood-obesity-in-early-childhood-programs/5016941/

Involve staff, children, families, and community partners

Recent media coverage has bombarded us with statistics concerning the alarming rise of childhood obesity in this country. Since the 1980s, the number of overweight children in the United States has more than tripled! Obesity among children has reached epidemic levels. We now know that severely overweight children face a 70% likelihood of becoming obese adults and are at risk for numerous health problems including the early onset of Type 2 Diabetes, heart and kidney disease, high blood pressure and cholesterol levels, depression, and certain types of cancer (Brock, 2002; Swainson, 2000). These facts are disturbing!

As early childhood educators and advocates for children, we are daily witnesses to the difficulties that challenge overweight children. As our executive staff discussed the impact of the statistics and issues related to obesity, our Chief Operating Officer laid out a challenge before us to begin a comprehensive initiative to address this important, and timely, issue. We needed to take action! There was a lot we could do. We looked at these statistics from a different perspective; we have an opportunity before us to work together to make a difference in our children's lives. First, we made a ...

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