Children’s Corner: CDC Healthy Schools Highlights September 22, 2022

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Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)

September 22, 2022
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Addressing Childhood Obesity in Schools

Childhood obesity is a major public health problem and a serious, complex health condition that affects nearly 1 in 5 school-age children in the United States. Children gained weight at a faster rate during a COVID-19 pandemic period (June 1, 2020 – November 30, 2020) than during a pre-pandemic period (January 1, 2018–February 29, 2020), with younger school-aged children (6-11) experiencing a rate of BMI change that was 2.5 times higher than before the pandemic.1
Although genetics and other factors contribute to childhood obesity, changes in the environments where children live, learn, and play can help them achieve and maintain a healthy weight.
On average, US children spend 6 to 7 hours a day at school. This extent of time makes schools an ideal setting for obesity prevention efforts, including getting more physical activityeating healthy meals, and receiving services from school nurses and counselors.
Find out the facts on childhood obesity prevalence in the United States. Learn how a comprehensive school-based approach can help school-age children move more, eat nutritious foods, and manage chronic health conditions. These behaviors keep students at school healthy and ready to learn.
Elementary school kids playing in playground close up

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September is #NationalChildhoodObesityAwarenessMonth

1. Lange SJ, Kompaniyets L, Freedman DS, et al. Longitudinal Trends in Body Mass Index Before and During the COVID-19 Pandemic Among Persons Aged 2–19 Years — United States, 2018–2020. MMWR Morb Mortal Wkly Rep 2021;70:1278–1283. DOI:

Check out our Stories of Achievement as we highlight some of the successful school health programs and initiatives administered by
CDC-funded state education agencies.
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CDC Healthy Schools focuses on the well-being of children, teens, and adults in schools and develops effective tools and recommendations to ensure students are healthy and ready to learn. To achieve this goal, we support state and local education and health agencies and national organizations to implement school health policies and practices. For more information, please visit CDC Healthy Schools.

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