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Tips to Help Tulsa Children Live Healthier

The good news about childhood obesity is that it can be prevented. September is National Childhood Obesity Awareness Month and the Tulsa Health Department’s Healthy Living Program is providing tips to help Tulsa County children live healthier lives.

In Oklahoma, 27 percent of youth are obese or overweight. Childhood obesity puts kids at risk for health problems that were once only seen in adults, like type 2 diabetes, high blood pressure and cardiovascular disease. Healthy lifestyle habits can lower the risk of becoming obese and developing related diseases.

“We hope to bring awareness to childhood obesity in order to encourage families to eat together and play together,” said Vanessa Hall-Harper, Healthy Living Program manager. “Simple steps like filling half your plate with fruits and veggies at every meal and getting 60 minutes of physical activity each day can help kids develop healthy habits that follow them for a lifetime.”

The Healthy Living Program works closely with community groups like the Tulsa County Wellness Partnership, a local coalition dedicated to changing policy and environments in Tulsa County to make healthy nutrition and fitness the easy choice in schools, workplaces and communities.

“Increasing awareness can increase policies and practices addressing obesity,” said TCWP member Dr. Colony Fugate. Fugate is a clinical associate professor of pediatrics at OSU Center for Health Sciences and diplomate of the American Board of Obesity Medicine.

Help kids fill half their plates with fruits and veggies at every meal and get 60 minutes of physical activity every day with these simple tips:

  • Cook together. Let your kids pitch in in the kitchen. They can wash the produce, tear the lettuce for salads and sandwiches, or snap some green beans.
  • Shop together. Bring your kids to the supermarket. It’s a super idea that will empower them to pick out new foods to try.
  • Enroll your kids in afterschool activities like sports, dance or other physical activity programs.
  • Make chores fun by seeing how fast you can clean the house. Turn on some music and sing and dance while you clean.

For more information about National Childhood Obesity Awareness Month and for healthy tips and resources, visit ShapeYourFutureOK.com.

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