September is National Childhood Obesity Month

September is National Childhood Obesity Month. Let’s take this opportunity to increase awareness about a serious problem affecting approximately 13.7 million, or one in every six, children in the United States2.

Did you know?

  • Children affected by obesity take, on average, 3,000 fewer steps per day than their healthy weight counterparts.8
  • High-sugar diets are linked to many diseases including diabetes, non-alcoholic fatty liver disease, obesity and heart disease.
  • “Sugar sweetened beverages (SSBs) or sugary drinks are leading source of added sugar in the American diet.”1 Just one or two a day increases a person’s risk of Type 2 diabetes by more than 25 percent.3
  • According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, kids and adults who don’t get adequate sleep or physical activity are “more likely to be frequent consumers of SSBs.”1
  • Poor sleep pattern, including short duration and sleep timing, are associated with childhood/adolescent obesity.
  • Children with obesity are bullied more often, which can lead to isolation and depression.
  • Studies show an association between adolescents with obesity and a higher rate of school absenteeism compared with their healthy weight peers.4
  • According to the Obesity Action Coalition, approximately 80 percent of children with obesity between the ages of 10 and 15 will go on to be adults with obesity.5

While there are efforts to address the problem across our state, Arizona’s childhood obesity rates grew faster than any other state from 2003 to 2007.6 As of 2016, Arizona was ranked 32nd for the highest rates of obesity for children ages 10 to 17.7 In Flagstaff, approximately 17 percent of youth in grades K to 5, and 20 to of youth in grades 6 to 8, were affected by obesity in spring 2019. When including children who are also overweight (but not obese), these numbers jump to nearly 32 percent and 38 percent, respectively. 

Childhood obesity is multifactorial and tackling it can be a difficult task. At Fit Kids, we address the various lifestyle factors that increase our children’s risk for obesity and risk for associated diseases in a safe, nonjudgmental and supportive way. Our team, together with participating families, plans and implements a treatment strategy to address every aspect of a child’s development. We understand the physiology behind this complicated issue and that obesity is not a condition of personal choice. The well-being of a child or adolescent will always be at the heart of the matter, and we strive to be a resource to help improve the overall health and quality of life for Northern Arizona’s children.   

For more information about childhood obesity as well as resources in our community, visit Fit Kids or call 928-214-3537.


  6. Singh GK, Kogan MD, Van Dyck PC. Changes in state-specific childhood obesity and overweight prevalence in the United States from 2003 to 2007. Archives of pediatrics & adolescent medicine. 2010 Jul 5;164(7):598-607.
  8. Tudor-Locke C, Pangrazi RP, Corbin CB, Rutherford WJ, Vincent SD, Raustorp A, Tomson LM, Cuddihy TF. BMI-referenced standards for recommended pedometer-determined steps/day in children. Preventive medicine. 2004 Jun 1;38(6):857-64.

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