In urban environments, fighting for childhood health is a lot more complex than pushing the kids off the couch. We need to look to a broad range of actions to address the environmental causes of childhood obesity in urban environments.
As we move into a new era of treating obesity as a disease, doctors face a tough challenge: discussing obesity without increasing patients’ feelings of stigma. Concrete new guidelines will help; a whole family approach and a little empathy can’t hurt either.
In the US and increasingly across the world, hunger and obesity are two sides of the same coin. Both are highly correlated to poverty; both have potentially devastating implications for children’s well-being.
Where does responsibility for childhood obesity sit? In our obesegenic environment, it’s impossible to peg any one force as THE key contributor. But surely, if there’s one thing we know, it’s that food, beverage, restaurant and even entertainment companies all contribute… and that they should be held accountable for doing more to address the problem.
The idea that public health must start with and by driven by the public is easy to articulate but hard to execute. This month, the Prevention Institute released a report, “Towards a 21st Century Approach: Advancing a Vision for Prevention and Public Health,” that begins to lay out a framework for action.
Many people may not understand the link between childhood sleep deficits and longer term risks such as becoming overweight or obese. Proactive parenting can help prevent sleep issues from getting out of hand.