September is Childhood Obesity Awareness Month, something we at Clifton Foot & Ankle Center think you should take pretty seriously. Why should you worry about childhood obesity? There are so many reasons – but perhaps none more important than the overall health of your child or another child you love – a niece, nephew, student, or grandchild.

Children who are overweight are prone to chronic health problems such as Type 2 diabetes, difficulty sleeping due to sleep apnea, and asthma. High cholesterol and high blood pressure are two more health issues obese kids face, and these put them at risk for heart disease. These are children! They shouldn’t have to worry about heart disease and Type 2 diabetes!

You can help your child steer clear of obesity by:

  • Stocking your pantry and refrigerator with healthy foods like fresh fruits and vegetables for snacking – raisins, apples, peaches, carrot sticks, cheese sticks and whole grain crackers.
  • Keeping sugary soft drinks and energy drinks out of your shopping cart.
  • Limiting the amount of fruit juices your child drinks, choosing instead to keep them hydrated with plain water or water flavored with a slice of lemon.
  • Being a good role model at mealtimes. Serve healthy portion sizes. Talk about the importance of filling your plate with lots of vegetables, some protein, and whole grain carbohydrates. Providing a good example helps you keep off unwanted pounds as well!
  • Making sure your child has plenty of time and space for physical activity. Get out there with them and toss a ball. Take a walk around the neighborhood. Point out how you’re parking far away from the store to get more walking into your day. Sign them up for a local ball team.
  • Getting involved in your child’s school to encourage healthy menus in the cafeteria and healthy snacking in the classroom.

Provide good nutrition for their feet and keep your kids active. If they show any signs of foot pain, bring them in to see board-certified podiatrist Kenneth R. Wilhelm, DPM as soon as possible. Call our office in Centreville, Virginia at (703) 996-3000 or click here to make an appointment online.

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