A call to action: healthier kids, brighter futures

By Michelle Wilson

Special to The SUN

September is designated as National Childhood Obesity Awareness Month, and for good reason.

This month reminds us of the need to renew and strengthen our efforts to reverse the continuing crisis of obesity affecting our youth. One in three children in the United States is overweight or obese.

Although Archuleta and La Plata counties’ adult obesity rate (17.5 percent) is lower than the state’s (20.8 percent), the percent of children aged 2 to14 years that are overweight or obese is higher (29.8 percent) than the state’s rate (28.1 percent).

Childhood obesity threatens the future of our young people by increasing their chances of developing chronic diseases such as heart disease and type 2 diabetes. Obese children are more likely to have low self-esteem and psychological stress such as depression, behavioral problems and issues in school.

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