Childhood Obesity Prevention
American Family Children’s Hospital is committed to promoting healthy lifestyle habits, including healthy eating and physical activity, which can lower the risk of obesity and developing obesity-related diseases.
Facts About Childhood Obesity
- Childhood obesity is a major health issue in the United States. In 2012, more than one-third of children and adolescents were overweight or obese.
- In Wisconsin, one in four high school students are overweight or obese.
- Diseases that were once only seen in adult populations, such as sleep apnea, hypertension, type 2 diabetes, and joint problems, are now increasingly being diagnosed in children and adolescents.
- Children and adolescents who are obese are more likely to be obese as adults.
- The economic cost of obesity-related medical expenses for Wisconsin is estimated at more than $1.5 billion annually.
The Healthy Kids Collaborative
American Family Children’s Hospital supports the Healthy Kids Collaborative. The collaborative develops and advances policies for children in Dane County, and convenes workgroups in the following five areas:
- Infant and Early Childhood: Promotes food nutrition and physical activity for infants and toddlers in child care settings. The collaborative promotes Active Early and Health Bites programs developed by the Wisconsin Department of Health Services and hosts trainings for early childhood providers on these programs. This group also encourages family engagement through the Be Healthy! Backpack program.
- School Nutrition: Promotes nutrition standards for federally-funded school meal programs as well as guidelines for Competitive Foods. Helps to facilitate Dane County schools in applying for the Wisconsin School Health Award by looking at a school’s physical activity and nutritional environment and making healthy changes.
- Active Schools: Works with Dane County schools and school districts to promote Active Schools Core 4+. This program integrates physical activity into the school day and was developed to increase opportunities for students to receive 60 minutes of physical activity during the school day.
- Active Living: Supports Dane County communities in becoming active communities through strategies like active transportation and Safe Routes to School. Currently we are working with several municipalities to prepare applications to become Bike Friendly Communities.
- Health Systems: Convenes various Dane County provider groups to discuss best practices in preventing and treating pediatric obesity. Provides consistent prevention messaging across Dane County primary care clinics by utilizing the 5-2-1-0 campaign and offers comprehensive tools to primary care providers to effectively communicate with patients and families about healthy behaviors.