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Making a Difference in Early Childhood Obesity

by Dan Huber
September/October 2009
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Article Link: http://www.exchangepress.com/article/making-a-difference-in-early-childhood-obesity/5018916/

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News reports calling attention to the steady increase in the number of overweight adults have become an accepted part of our media landscape. Worse still, warnings continue that more and more young children, like the adults who care for them, are carrying too much weight. Unfortunately, this bad news about our growing obesity problem isn’t just hype. Research confirms that children weigh more than they have in the past and, more ominously, that this weight, if carried into adulthood, has inevitable negative health implications.

The scope of the problem

For many in the early childhood community, confirmation that too many young children are overweight comes as no surprise. Early childhood teachers see it every day â€" and so do health professionals. Health professionals measure the severity of the problem by comparing the weights of young children today with recommended growth charts and body mass index (BMI) graphs that identify healthy weight ranges based on a child’s height and gender. According to Alice Ammerman, DrPH, RD, head of the Nutrition and Physical Activity Self Assessment for Child Care (NAP SACC) program at the University of North Carolina, “Current estimates are that 25% ...

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