How Parents Can Take Charge of Childhood Obesity

African American father and daughter cookingdAmerica is one of the unhealthiest countries in the world by many reports. We’re out of shape and our life expectancy lowers with each plate of fried glory. This national issue spirals down to low income communities in a devastating way. Food inequity in the Black community is deeper than access to better tasting food, it’s a serious health issue. The inner-city is filled with fast food, local corner stores with no fresh produce and billboard ads selling the next “4 for $5” in just about every zip code we inhabit. All factors that contribute to our Black children being more obese and overweight than White children, according to the State of Obesity report.

The CDC defines “childhood overweight” as having a Body Mass Index (BMI) at or above the 85th percentile and less than the 95th percentile for children and teens of the same age and sex.

Childhood obesity is defined as having a BMI at or above the 95th percentile for children and teens of the same age and sex.

Dr. Clarence Lee, author and motivational coach, believes strongly in communicating to your child about what healthy lifestyle choices look like.

“You have to communicate with your children how to make healthy eating choices. If you teach them the disadvantages of eating a certain type of food then you can associate pain with that type of food. When you see a bag of chips you can associate weight gain and the pain of them not being able to do the activities or have the energy they want. We need to start having this conversation at an early age.”