New Book Highlights Standards for Preventing Childhood Obesity
Johnson, Teddi Dineley, The Nation's Health
Today, record numbers of children are tipping the scales in the obesity range. According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the percentage of obese 2- to 5-year-olds jumped almost 54 percent during the past three decades.
With a goal of preventing excessive weight gain in young children and reversing the trend, a new book of standards co-developed by APHA helps teachers and caregivers in early care and education programs build healthy lifestyles for generations to come. Released in November, "Preventing Childhood Obesity in Early Care and Education Programs" provides selected standards in three topic areas: nutrition, physical activity and screen time. Detailing opportunities for programs to work with families from the first day of an infant's enrollment, the standards are based on emerging research and evidence-based findings that link eating nutritious foods, engaging in daily age-appropriate physical activities and limiting the time in front of a television or computer screen with maintaining a healthy weight.
"Obesity is of an epidemic level nationwide," said APHA member Marilyn Krajicek, EdD, RN, director of the Colorado-based National Resource Center for Health and Safety in Child Care and Early Education. "We must address it beginning in infancy to make a greater impact. This is prevention of major health problems that people across the country will be facing if we don't watch our food intake and what we are eating."
Funded by the Child Care Bureau of the Department of Health and Human Services' Administration for Children and Families, the standards were developed by APHA with the American Academy of Pediatrics and the National Resource Center for Health and Safety in Child Care and Early Education. …