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September is National Childhood Obesity Month

August 24, 2016 | Community News, Community News and Media, Statewide

4 Tips to Help Children Achieve A Healthy Weight

childhoodobesity articleOne in three children in New Jersey are considered overweight or obese, and the state ranks 27th in the overall prevalence of childhood obesity. Also, nationally, the cost of childhood obesity health care is a staggering $14 billion per year.

Childhood obesity puts kids at risk for health problems that were once seen only in adults, like type 2 diabetes, high blood pressure, and heart disease. The good news is that childhood obesity can be prevented.

New Jersey Partnership for Healthy Kids (NJPHK) is working with partners across New Jersey to implement environmental 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, we’ve expanded our impact to improve the health and well-being of children in more than 45 New Jersey communities,” said Darrin Anderson, state deputy director, NJPHK. From assisting with the development of community and school wellness policies to renovating neighborhood playgrounds, to securing commitments to provide healthier choices in local corner stores, to creating bike lanes and co-sponsoring fun and fitness events—NJPHK is focused on helping to make the healthy choice the easy choice for children and families.

In honor of National Childhood Obesity Awareness Month, below are just a few tips to help families’ lead healthier lifestyles:

  • Get active outside: Make physical activity a part of the everyday experience for children and youth. Walk around the neighborhood, go for a bike ride, or play basketball at the park.
  • Limit screen time: Parents can set a good example by limiting their own TV viewing, smartphone and video game use. Keep screen time (time spent on the computer, watching TV, or playing video games) to two hours or less a day.
  • Make healthy meals: Buy and serve more vegetables, fruits, and whole-grain foods.
  • Get involved with school: When parents are engaged in their children’s school activities, their children get better grades, choose healthier behaviors, and have better social skills.1Also, school health activities are more successful when parents are involved.2

Taking small steps as a family can help children stay at a healthy weight. For more information, visit


  1. Resnick MD, Bearman PS, Blum RW, Bauman KE, Harris KM, Jones J, et al. Protecting adolescents from harm. Findings from the National Longitudinal Study on Adolescent Health. Journal of the American Medical Association 1997;278(10):823–832.
  2. Ornelas IJ, Perreira KM, Ayala GX. Parental influences on adolescent physical activity: a longitudinal study. International Journal of Behavioral Nutrition and Physical Activity 2007;4(3):1–10.
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