• Screen time should be limited to no more than 2 hours a day, including TV, video games, and non-school related computer use—such as smart phones and tablets.
• A healthy diet, replacing sugar-sweetened drinks with water, low-fat or non-fat milk when they are thirsty is best. Even 100 percent juices have a lot of sugar, sometimes as much as sugar-sweetened sodas, so consumption should be limited to one small glass or juice box per day.
Rodgers also recommends family activities that involve walking and other physical activity.
“If your child sees you being physically active and having fun, they are more likely to be active on their own,” Rodgers said.
Additionally, being overweight or obese as a child can set the stage for developing high blood pressure, type 2 diabetes, liver disease, kidney disease, and other conditions as an adult.
Noting the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation’s pledge to reverse the childhood obesity epidemic by 2015, RWJF President and CEO Risa Lavizzo-Mourey wrote in a blog last month, “We know we can do it, but we can’t do it alone.”
It takes a greater community effort, Lavizzo-Mourey wrote.
“The diverse group of states and communities with declines have instituted a wide range of programs to help families make healthy choices where they live, learn, play, and work—programs that can be adapted and scaled up by other regions,” Lavizzo-Mourey said. “All of these communities have one important thing in common—they have made childhood obesity prevention a priority.”