(1/10/12) - "Each encounter with a child is an opportunity to help children understand the importance of eating right and being active - from their earliest moments of life until they reach adulthood," said Dr. Yvonne Ramirez, McLeod Pediatrics Dillon - Dr. Yvonne Ramirez.
Let's Move! is a comprehensive initiative, launched by the First Lady in February 2010, dedicated to solving the problem of childhood obesity in a generation so that kids born today will grow up healthier and able to pursue their dreams. Combining comprehensive strategies with common sense, Let's Move! is about putting children on the path to a healthy future.
According to Dr. Danté Lewis, McLeod Pediatrics Dillon - Dr. Danté Lewis, "In the past three decades, America has seen childhood obesity rates triple. Today, one in every three children in our country is overweight or obese. Statistics show that African American and Hispanic populations are seeing nearly 40% overweight or obese children. Rates are estimated to be even higher in American Indian communities. The long-term health impact is significant. If we don't address this problem, one third of all children born in 2000 or later will suffer from diabetes at some point in their lives. Many others will face chronic obesity-related health problems like heart disease, high blood pressure, cancer and asthma."
Let's Move! encourages kids to eat healthier and move more. "When children combine physical activity with healthy eating in their daily routine, they will experience lifelong benefits, including prevention of a many chronic diseases, including heart disease, cancer and stroke—the three leading causes of death. Physical activity and proper nutrition has also been proven to improve a child's performance and behavior in daily activities, such as school," added Dr. Ramirez.
Follow these recommendations to help children become healthier:
Educate the importance of a healthy diet.
Watch less TV.
Make half of each meal full of fruits and vegetables. Substitute water or low-fat milk for sweetened beverages and substitute healthier ingredients such as whole wheat pasta, and lean meats in recipes
Encourage 60 minutes of active and vigorous play each day.
Eat meals as a family.
For more information on making healthier choices for your family, visit www.mcleodhealth.org, www.letsmove.gov, www.fitness.gov, or www.presidentschallenge.org.