The State of Childhood Obesity: Be Part of the Solution

Written by
Sarah Mann, Senior Policy Analyst, Voices for Healthy Kids
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The latest State of Childhood Obesity report was recently released, and unfortunately, childhood obesity continues to be a national epidemic. The current numbers show that nearly one in six youth have obesity, with racial, ethnic, and socioeconomic disparities resulting in higher obesity rates for children of color and kids from families with lower incomes.

As the report noted, obesity is deeply influenced by public policies and by structural racism.  Too many policies have had a negative health impact, promoting unhealthy foods and beverages, increasing food insecurity, and perpetuating systemic racism.

There are ways to solve these problems. Voices for Healthy Kids supports policies and policy campaigns that can be part of the solution to build more equitable communities.

Voices for Healthy Kids is proud to support policies that improve access to nutritious, affordable foods, remove barriers to healthful living, and make each day healthier for all children, including:

  • Advocating for high-quality early care and education programs and supporting childcare providers as they work to offer healthy food and physical activity opportunities for the kids in their care. Getting kids off to a healthy start is important because early childhood is a time when the skills, knowledge, and habits are developed that can be carried into adulthood.

  • Working to ensure all kids have access to nutritious and delicious no-cost school meals and safe and appealing drinking water. Eating healthy meals at school can help lower childhood obesity rates and help students perform better academically, while drinking water instead of sugary drinks can help maintain a healthier weight.

  • Promoting policies that make sure there are healthy options for kids’ meals at restaurants. When the vast majority of U.S. households eat out on average of about five times a week, it’s important to make healthy options more easily available to children and caregivers.  

  • Pursuing funding to provide financial incentives for purchasing healthy foods as part of the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP). Removing the cost barrier to healthy eating can help SNAP recipients improve their diets and eat more fruits and vegetables.

Together with our funders, collaborating organizations, and grantees, we are working across the country to engage, organize, and mobilize communities to help make each day healthier for all children.  Join Voices for Healthy Kids in these efforts and explore our website to learn more about the tools and resources available to communities across the country.

This link is provided for convenience only and is not an endorsement of either the linked-to entity or any product or service.