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Las Vegas Urban League WIC A Valuable Resource for During September National Childhood Obesity Month
By: Urban League WIC
"Children who are obese are at higher risk for chronic health problems such as asthma, sleep apnea, bone and joint problems and Type 2 diabetes," WIC Program Nutritionist Rewina Tsegay said. "Obese children are also at risk for heart disease, high blood pressure and high cholesterol."
Factors that lead to obesity in children include too much time spent being physically inactive, improper sleep habits, diets consisting of high-calorie and high-cholesterol fast foods and lack of access and/or encouragement to eat healthier foods.
"WIC Nutrition Counselors are available to provide parents with information on how to prepare healthy low-calorie foods and give healthy snack ideas in place of foods with high-sugar content and unhealthy fats," Tsegay said. "We emphasize drinking water as a no-calorie alternative to sugary soft drinks. We can also help parents prepare 60-minute physical activity schedules for their children, as well as advise parents on ways to ensure their child gets the proper amount of sleep each night based on their age group."
Tsegay points out that defeating childhood obesity also coincides with parents being role models for their children by eating healthier meals themselves, avoiding junk foods and being physically active each day.
"Childhood obesity can lead to lifelong physical and mental health problems in adulthood," Tsegay stressed. "Adult obesity is associated with a higher risk of Type 2 diabetes, heart disease and many cancers. Therefore, it's so important to reverse obesity lifestyle influences in children before they become adults, so they won't have to face higher-risk health factors when they become adults."
The Las Vegas Urban League Women, Infants and Children Program is a 501c (3) program that is funded by the Nevada Department of Health and Human Services Division of Public Health.
For more information, visit the Urban League WIC website at https://www.wiclv.org or their two convenient locations: 6480 W. Flamingo Road, Suite B, Las Vegas, phone (702) 227-1573 or 3320 E. Flamingo Road, Suite 50, Las Vegas, phone (702) 476-9561.