September 2022 - National Childhood Obesity Awareness Month - University of Houston
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Monthly Health Observance

Each month UH Population Health will feature a “population” highlighted as part of national health observances.

  • September

    National Childhood Obesity Awareness Month

    September is National Childhood Obesity Awareness Month, a time when we can learn about ways to prevent obesity and promote physical and mental health in children. The reasons why a child becomes obese are highly complex.

  • Fast Facts About Childhood Obesity

    • 16.2%

      In 2019-20, 16.2% of youth ages 10 to 17 had obesity, according to the latest National Survey of Children's Health.

    • 22.4%

      During the pandemic, the national rate of obesity among kids ages 2 to 19 increased to 22.4% (2020), up from 19.3% in 2019.

    • $14B

      In the U.S., childhood obesity alone is estimated to cost $14 billion annually in direct health expenses.

Keep Moving

The Physical Activity Guidelines for Americans recommends children be physically active throughout each day.


The CDC states that children need 60 minutes or more of physical activity each day. Both sports and unstructured play can help provide aerobic conditioning, muscle-building and bone-strengthening.


jump rope



Develop Healthy Eating Habits

A healthy diet can help children get the nutrients they need for healthy growth and development, and help them reach a healthy weight. A healthy diet is rich in fruits, vegetables, whole grains, lean proteins, and low-fat or fat-free dairy.
  • fruits

  • vegetables

  • whole grains

  • lean protein

  • low-fat dairy

Adequate Sleep is Critical in Preventing Obesity

Did you know that children 6-12 years old need 9-12 hours of uninterrupted sleep a night and youth 13-18 need 8-10 hours? Too little sleep is associated with obesity partly because inadequate sleep can make us eat more and be less physically active.

child sleeping in bed