I hope it does not feel a little unfair to let people know that November is Healthy Lifestyles Month just moments before folks sit down for a Thanksgiving dinner.
Hey, forewarned is forearmed.
Studies indicate that between now and the New Year is the time people gain the most weight.
But here is the good news.
California State PTA has numerous resources for families on how to avoid that gain and how to incorporate healthy habits into the lifestyle of your home and your school.
And this is important not just during the holidays but throughout the year because childhood obesity is a growing problem for too many children.
According to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention, childhood obesity has more than tripled in the past 30 years.
- "Obese youth are more likely to have risk factors for cardiovascular disease, such as high cholesterol or high blood pressure.
- Obese adolescents are more likely to have pre-diabetes, a condition in which blood glucose levels indicate a high risk for development of diabetes.
- Children and adolescents who are obese are at greater risk for bone and joint problems, sleep apnea, and social and psychological problems such as stigmatization and poor self-esteem."
So what can we do?
Here are some tips from the National PTA:
Let’s start with some easy steps. And I mean steps.
- Take a walk after dinner.
- Use the stairs and avoid the elevator.
- Get a pedometer and see who takes the most steps each week.
- Park as far away from your shopping destination as you can.
- If possible, walk with your child to school.
- And you might even turn the after dinner clean up into time for the family to dance together.
Find out more ways to be healthy at home:
Resources for your local PTA in supporting a healthier school:
- Improve Student Nutrition
- Increase Physical Activity
- School Wellness Policies
- Healthy Lifestyles Success Stories
The California State PTA provides resources that offer parents, children and schools skills to make healthy choices.
Carol Kocivar is the president of the California Parent Teacher Association.