As of 2012, nearly 23% of children ages 2 to 5 years in the United States were considered overweight or obese. Children who are obese are at risk of serious health issues, including type 2 diabetes in childhood, and heart disease in adolescence and adulthood. This problem is not isolated to the United States, but can be found in all developed countries and many developing countries. Early childhood is clearly the time to begin to address this epidemic.

Factors Contributing to Obesity

There are three general factors that have led to the obesity epidemic:

  • Unhealthy food choices
  • Lack of adequate physical activity
  • Overall lifestyle behaviors, in early childhood programs, the home, and the community

To significantly address childhood obesity, all three areas must be comprehensively targeted. In early childhood programs, healthy ...

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