Kristen Pekarek

September Is Childhood Obesity Awareness Month

According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, obesity now affects 17 percent of all children and adolescents in the United States. Research shows that childhood obesity puts kids at greater risk for health problems—including type 2 diabetes, high blood pressure, and heart disease—and, once a child enters school, can undermine classroom and overall lifetime success. Encouraging new research indicates we are making some progress to reverse this epidemic: a new report on childhood obesity shows obesity among low-income preschoolers has declined slightly in 19 states and territories, and a new report on school health shows there have been improvements in the way we teach nutrition and physical activity in schools. But there is still a lot of work to be done.

Healthy—the first tenet of ASCD's Whole Child Initiative—says that every student should enter school healthy and learn about and practice a healthy lifestyle. Here at ASCD, we believe and practice this. This September, during Childhood Obesity Awareness Month and every month, we encourage you to do the same by using the initiative's tenet indicators and components to support and reinforce the health and well-being of your students. In addition, the we have compiled a number of resources from our partner organizations to further support you in your efforts to keep kids healthy, including

National Association of School Nurses

National Association for Sport and Physical Education

National School Boards Association

Learn more about Childhood Obesity Awareness Month, view additional resources, and get tips on ways to keep kids healthy. Together we can combat childhood obesity and ensure kids grow up to be healthy, safe, engaged, supported, and challenged.

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