Physical activity is another key factor in reducing childhood obesity. It is not too late to sign-up kids for summer camps, clubs or other fun summer activities.
Call your local United Way 211 line to find options in your area.
Keep in mind that every child is different, and the goal is to find a physical activity that your child enjoys. This often takes time and experimentation.
Physical activity comes in many forms, and experts agree even small bursts of activity throughout the day can have significant benefits, such as increased focus and reduced negative behaviors.
Children develop habits around food and physical activity at an early age — research indicates as early as age 5. Children who are overweight or obese are likely to be the same as adults, making early childhood an essential time to teach and model healthy habits. The American Heart Association’s website, www.heart.org, contains practical advice on how to create healthy habits at home. Yet instilling healthy food and activity habits takes more than good intentions and catchy formulas for nutritional intake.
Indiana has several state policies created to prevent childhood obesity including breastfeeding programs, healthy eating policies for Early Childhood Education programs, and standards for school physical education. Yet more can and should be done at the state and community levels to ensure all Hoosier kids have access to healthy foods and environmental conditions, such as parks, playgrounds, community centers, bicycle paths, and sidewalks, that can foster and support active lifestyles.