The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) will launch a new initiative in the fight against childhood obesity, focusing on both prevention and treatment of what has become a major threat to children’s health in the U.S.
The new AAP Institute for Healthy Childhood Weight will lead efforts in providing pediatricians, families and communities with evidence-based resources to help prevent and treat childhood obesity.
The Institute will be funded by corporate sponsors and government grants.
The AAP will draw upon the unique relationships that pediatricians have with families. Beginning with the birth of a child and continuing until that child grows into an adult, this relationship often spans two decades.
Thirty pediatricians and other pediatric health care providers serve on the Obesity Committee from Arizona’s AAP chapter (AzAAP). They’ve instituted AZ Way to Go, a resource program for families to encourage healthy eating and activity.
Food choices can have unintentional consequences that influence poor health and lead to chronic disease, says the AzAAP, and Arizona posted the biggest increase in childhood obesity prevalence of all states between 2003 and 2007.
Childhood obesity has since become a major focus of the AzAAP, which advises parents to follow the 5-2-1-0 rule in their homes. This means 5 servings a day of fruits and vegetables; spend less than 2 hours a day in front of a screen; spend at least 1 hour a day doing something active; and limit sweetened drinks (to near 0 a day).