Childhood obesity is a critical public health issue. As the number of overweight children has tripled in the United States over the past 30 years, its impact on children’s health risks has compounded. Type 2 diabetes, which used to mainly occur among adults, is increasingly being reported among children. Childhood is the most crucial time to help kids develop healthy lifestyle habits they can carry into adulthood. The Blue Cross of Idaho Foundation for Health is committed to addressing the rise in obese and overweight children in Idaho.
Pediatricians and family practitioners are on the front line in the effort to reduce obesity. The Good Health Club Toolkit was created specifically for physician offices and provides tools to educate parents and children about childhood obesity and diabetes prevention. The toolkit was developed by the Blue Cross Blue Shield Association, in consultation with the American Diabetes Association and the American Academy of Pediatricians.
The materials display messages from the Good Health Club, a group of animated characters who focus on “5-2-1-0” message. The Good Health Club encourages children to:
This tall, cool gal is here to say, “Eat five fruits and vegetables every day!”
- Give kids 5 servings of fruit and vegetables every day.
- Prevent diabetes, heart disease, and many forms of cancer with a diet rich in fruits and vegetables.
Hoot’s wise advice is to get out and play, “Turn off the TV and computer – get moving today!”
- Limit screen time (TV, video games, computers) to 2 hours or less per day.
- Avoid putting a TV in your child’s bedroom.
- Encourage children to be physically active before allowing screen time.
Spark has just one rhyme she likes to say “Take an hour each day to go out and play!”
- Kids need at least 1 hour of physical activity each day.
- Plan family activities together, such as a family walk after dinner.
This thirsty frog says what he thinks, “Stick with water and skip the sweet drinks!”
- Avoid serving soft drinks or sweetened beverage to kids.
- Encourage water between meals because it helps kids feel full.
- Add fruit like lemons or limes to water for flavor.
For more information about Good Health Club please contact:
Kendra Witt, PhD, MPH
Blue Cross of Idaho Foundation for Health