Childhood obesity is a serious medical condition that affects children and adolescents. It occurs when a child is well above the normal weight for the child’s age and height.

In the past 30 years, the occurrence of obesity in children has tripled, and it is now estimated that almost 1 in 5 children in the United States has obesity (17%).

Prevention of childhood obesity is the best strategy. Regular meals, diets rich in fruits and vegetables, play, and exercise are all part of the prevention strategy. Children who have overweight or obesity may be working with their pediatricians/primary care providers in the medical home and a dietician; often, they are not in treatment. Child care programs and schools are important environments for developing and sustaining healthy eating and exercise habits.

Source: Managing Chronic Health Needs in Child Care and Schools: A Quick Reference Guide.

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