National Childhood Obesity Awareness Month Highlights the Importance of Giving Children a Healthy Start

San Gorgonio Memorial Hospital Urges Residents to Teach Children

Healthy Eating and Exercise Habits Early On

In recognition of National Childhood Obesity Month, San Gorgonio Memorial Hospital is reaffirming its commitment to reducing obesity and related illnesses among its young residents, ensuring that they lead longer, healthier lives. San Gorgonio Memorial Hospital is dedicated to advancing the interests of its residents through ongoing education, and National Childhood Obesity Awareness month serves as an annual reminder to residents regarding the importance of giving children a healthy start.

According to the National Childhood Obesity Month’s official website, www.healthierkidsbrighterfutures.org, childhood obesity has reached an epidemic level, as more that 23 million children and teenagers (ages 2 to 19) in the U.S. are obese or overweight. While obesity rates have soared among all U.S. age groups, obesity is of particular concern for children, putting them at early risk for Type 2 diabetes, high blood pressure, heart disease and even stroke – conditions usually associated with adulthood.

The financial implications of childhood obesity are sobering, estimated at $14 billion per year in direct healthcare costs alone. Increased awareness and prevention of childhood obesity will save billions of dollars in unnecessary healthcare costs and promote healthier lifestyles to improve and prolong the lives of the next generation of Americans.

“The best approach to the prevention and treatment of childhood obesity is to have the whole family focus on wellness,” states Jean Kielhold, chief clinical dietitian at SGMH. “Having family rules such as limiting or eliminating sweetened beverages in the household; eating all meals and snacks at the dining room table without electronic media present; before playing video games,  taking time to play 60 minutes a day (i.e. jump rope, two-square, dodge ball); cooking dinner and sharing family meals together; and keeping healthy snacks readily available such as fruit, yogurts, vegetable sticks, and low sugar cereals reduces risk for pediatric obesity.

“Sharing meals together gives the parents a chance to be a role model for making healthy choices and can also have a benefit of reduced risk for substance abuse, promotion of language development, and academic achievement in their children,” Kielhold added.

While these rules are relatively simple, they are by no means easy.   Kielhold encourages families to agree on one or two healthy rules to adopt and work towards, and adding or changing the health focus as times goes on.

For more information on healthy tips and recipes, see our website at www.sgmh.org.

At San Gorgonio Memorial Hospital, our mission is to provide safe, high quality, personalized healthcare services. A 71-bed facility located in the San Gorgonio Pass, we were established in 1951 as a living memorial to our country’s World War I and II Veterans. Now in our 62nd year, San Gorgonio Memorial Hospital provides excellent care for our community as we continue to grow along with the Pass region.

San Gorgonio Memorial Hospital is supported in part by the San Gorgonio Memorial Hospital Foundation, a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization dedicated to raising funds for the Hospital, and by the San Gorgonio Memorial Hospital Auxiliary, the Hospital’s volunteer organization. The Auxiliary runs the San Gorgonio Memorial Hospital Auxiliary Thrift Shop, at 3453 West Ramsey Street in Banning.

San Gorgonio Memorial Hospital is located at 600 North Highland Springs Avenue in Banning. For more information about the hospital and its services, call 951-845-1121 or visit http://www.sgmh.org.

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