This column appears in the Nevada Appeal Wednesday health pages. It addresses topics related to the health of our community.
September is Childhood Obesity Awareness Month, and Carson City Health and Human Services is focusing on helping Carson City families find ways to raise happy, healthy kids.
Currently, one in three American children is overweight or obese. These children are at greater risk of cardiovascular disease, bone and joint problems, sleep apnea, psychological problems and bullying. If we don’t act, it’s estimated that, by 2030, the adult obesity rate in Nevada could reach 50 percent. Currently, the adult obesity rate in Nevada is just below 25 percent. This is a sobering public health issue, but by working together we can find solutions for this burgeoning health crisis.
Carson City and the surrounding area offer plenty of activities for kids to get active and stay healthy. There are miles of outdoor trails to take a hike or a bike ride, with offerings for every ability level. For a beginner walk or bike ride, the Linear Path is a great option. One idea is to park at Fremont Elementary School and get on the path, headed east. Along this flat, paved route, which passes through wetland habitat, it’s likely you’re going to see many species of birds as well as other animals. Not only can you get some exercise, you might spot some wildlife along the way.
For kids who enjoy being part of a team, Carson City Parks and Recreation offers basketball, softball and soccer. Locally, there are lots of other sports leagues for kids to take part in, like youth football, Little League and AYSO. Team sports are a great way to get active, make new friends, and learn about sportsmanship. To find out more about joining a sports team or taking a class, visit the Carson City Parks and Recreation website at www.carson.org/ccpr.
Community leaders, elected officials and health advocates from across the country are joining together to help reverse the rising rates of childhood obesity, and individuals just like you can take steps with your family, your neighbors and your community. Every person in the U.S. can be an important part of Childhood Obesity Awareness Month by taking small steps that add up to a big difference, like eating more balanced meals and snacks and engaging in regular physical activity. Carson City Health and Human Services encourages you to get involved, take that first step, and join the movement.
For more information about other Health Department services, check out our website at www.gethealthycarsoncity.org or visit us at www.facebook.com/cchhs.