September is National Childhood Obesity Awareness Month. The good news is that the designation brings attention to the fact that childhood obesity can be prevented.
In New Jersey, 31 percent of children are either overweight or obese, placing them at increased risk for type 2 diabetes, heart disease, and other serious health conditions.
Reversing the childhood obesity epidemic is a critical strategy for protecting the viability of our health care system. Among experts, there’s universal agreement that health care should focus more on prevention—not just treatment—and obesity prevention is one of the best investments we can make.
New Jersey Partnership for Healthy Kids (NJPHK) is working with partners across New Jersey to implement environment and policy changes that support access to affordable healthy foods and increase opportunities for physical activities that help children achieve a healthy weight.
Since 2009, NJPHK has expanded its impact to improve the health and well-being of children and families in more than 60 New Jersey communities.
From assisting with the development of community and school wellness policies to renovating neighborhood playgrounds to securing commitments to provide healthier choices from local corner stores to creating bike lanes and co-sponsoring fun and fitness events–it’s about making the healthy choice the easy choice.
When children have access to safe parks, they are more active. When local stores sell affordable healthy foods, families eat better. NJPHK focuses on the actual, physical places where children live, learn and play.
The future of healthy communities lies with the children that we are responsible for raising. Our goal is to ensure that these environments support and encourage healthy eating and active living.