Childhood Obesity: Statistics and Prevention

Childhood Obesity: Statistics and Prevention

More About Childhood Obesity: Statistics and Prevention

Unfortunately, higher numbers of children are overweight or obese today than at any other time in history. According to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), a child is overweight if his or her weight falls between the 85th and 95th percentile for children of the same age, gender, and height on the body mass index (BMI) scale. The CDC classifies obesity as a child whose weight falls above the 95th percentile using the same measuring standards. To calculate BMI, divide a child’s weight converted to kilometers by his or her height in meters.
Statistics on Childhood Obesity

In 2016, the most recent year for which the CDC has released statistics related to childhood obesity, 18.5 percent of children between the ages of 2 and 19 had a BMI at 95 percent or higher than that of their peers. The breakdown per age group is as follows:

Ages 2 to 5, 13.9 percent
Ages 6 to 11, 18.4 percent
Ages 12 to 19, 20.6 percent

Obese children typically go on to become obese adults and have even greater trouble managing their weight as they age. They’re at risk of developing numerous health problems, most of which doctors previously only treated in adults. The most common obesity-related illnesses in children include:

High cholesterol
High blood pressure
Type 2 diabetes as well as insulin resistance and increased problems with glucose tolerance
Heartburn and other gastro-reflux conditions
Fatty liver disease
Joint pain

Overweight and obese children can also experience social and psychological problems such as bullying, depression, anxiety, low self-esteem, and loneliness.
How Do Children Gain Too Much Weight?

Children become overweight or obese in much the same way that adults too. This includes leading a sedentary lifestyle and eating foods low in nutritional quality and high in calories. The prevalence of video games, smartphones, and computers has caused many young people to engage in pastimes that have them sitting much of the time rather than playing active physical games with their friends or family members. Obesity tends to run in families both genetically and through the types of behavior modeled to children.
School Lunches Play an Important Role in a Child’s Weight

When it comes to your child eating lunch at school, you can either buy meals served by the school or pack your own. Since you’re not there to ensure that your child eats the meal, it’s important to teach him or her the importance of nutrition and how it helps students grow and learn.

One advantage of choosing a school lunch is that schools participating in the National School Lunch Program must meet certain nutrition requirements to obtain eligibility for reimbursement. If your child’s school participates in this program, you can feel confident that the school offers him or her a balanced lunch each day. Additionally, many schools send home lunch calendars with nutritional information about each day’s meals. This allows you to see things such as calories and the amount of fat, fiber, carbohydrates, and protein per serving.

The benefit of packing a lunch for your child is that you have more control over what he or she consumes. If your child is already overweight, eating a lunch with calorie control in mind is easier to do when you’re the one making it. Web MD offers several suggestions for parents to help make their child’s lunch more nutritious. If you plan to go the bagged lunch route, be sure that you have a good idea of what your child likes and doesn’t like so you’re not wasting food sending something that he or she will just throw away or trade with a friend for a potentially unhealthy food.

Sandwiches are simple to make and most kids like them. Even so, they can be boring to a child who eats them all the time. Try to mix things up a bit by changing the bread every few days. Some options to consider include pita bread, tortillas, whole-grain hamburger or hot dog buns, and raisin bread. Remember that contents for the sandwich don’t have to be the same old peanut butter and jelly. Here are some new ideas that are also more nutritious for your child:

Dried fruit
Shredded carrots
Cranberry sauce
Cashews, chopped celery, or water chestnuts in a tuna or chicken salad sandwich
Add hummus to a whole-wheat tortilla

If you prefer not to give your child a sandwich or need some ideas....more: click for details

Tags: health seminars and screenings

Posted By: UPMC Western Maryland

Event Details

Date: November 30, 2020

This event also occurs on 12/14/2020, 12/28/2020

UPMC Western Maryland
12500 Willowbrook Rd
Cumberland MD 21502

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More About this Event Poster: UPMC Western Maryland

In 2018, WMHS and UPMC joined together in a clinical affiliation to work cooperatively to enhance healthcare services and to strengthen the delivery of quality care, transform care delivery and reduce the total cost of providing care in the community. In March 2019, the Boards of Directors of both WMHS and UPMC signed a non-binding letter of intent to negotiate an affiliation agreement. Following a nine-month regulatory review and due diligence process by WMHS and UPMC, the Boards co-signed a binding integration and affiliation agreement on January 15, 2020, setting February 1, as the target date for finalizing the affiliation.

“Throughout our research and discussions with UPMC, we became increasingly confident and excited about becoming part of a world-class academic medical center which shares our vision for providing quality patient care,” said Rolf Haarstad, chair of the WMHS Board of Directors. “Our mutual mission is to continue to bring cutting-edge, evidence-based medicine to patients close to home.”

“UPMC has a long, successful track record of affiliations with like-minded hospitals. We know how much this hospital means to the region, and we are thrilled that WMHS has chosen to join UPMC,” said Leslie C. Davis, senior vice president, UPMC, and executive vice president and chief operating officer, UPMC Health Services Division.

UPMC has committed to make certain capital investments to enhance services and upgrade facilities in the Western Maryland region. These investments by UPMC, along with investments that the WMHS Foundation has made and continues to make, will help ensure that UPMC Western Maryland will continue to provide state-of-the-art, quality healthcare for residents as well as maintaining its position as one of the largest employers in the region for years to come.

The new affiliation does not affect patients’ insurance coverage. UPMC Western Maryland will continue to honor the contracts it has in place with regional and national insurers and has reaffirmed its commitment to continue working with multiple payors in the future.

The board of UPMC Western Maryland consists of 12 directors, including 8 appointed by the current WMHS board and 4 designated by the UPMC board.

About UPMC
A $20 billion health care provider and insurer, Pittsburgh-based UPMC is inventing new models of patient-centered, cost-effective, accountable care. The largest nongovernmental employer in Pennsylvania, UPMC integrates 89,000 employees, 40 hospitals, 700 doctors’ offices and outpatient sites, and a nearly 3.6 million-member Insurance Services Division, the largest medical insurer in western Pennsylvania. In the most recent fiscal year, UPMC contributed $1.2 billion in benefits to its communities, including more care to the region’s most vulnerable citizens than any other health care institution, and paid $587 million in federal, state and local taxes. Working in close collaboration with the University of Pittsburgh Schools of the Health Sciences, UPMC shares its clinical, managerial and technological skills worldwide through its innovation and commercialization arm, UPMC Enterprises, and through UPMC International. U.S. News & World Report consistently ranks UPMC Presbyterian Shadyside on its annual Honor Roll of America’s Best Hospitals and ranks UPMC Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh on its Honor Roll of America’s Best Children’s Hospitals. For more information, go to

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