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September 29, 2020

September is National Childhood Obesity Month 

September is National Childhood Obesity Month. Childhood obesity is a major public health problem. Children with obesity are at higher risk for having other chronic health conditions. Children with obesity can be bullied and teased more than their normal weight peers. They are also more likely to suffer from social isolation, depression, and lower self-esteem. Children with obesity are also more likely to have obesity as adults. In Bay County, 13.2% of middle school students are obese and 13.7% of high school students according to The percent of WIC children over two who are obese is 10.4%.

Childhood obesity is influenced by many factors, including eating and physical activity behaviors, genetics, metabolism, family and home environment, and community and social factors. For some children and families, obesity may be influenced by the following:

  • Too much time spent being inactive
  • Lack of sleep
  • Lack of places to go in the community to get physical activity
  • Easy access to inexpensive, high calorie foods and sugary beverages
  • Lack of access to affordable, healthier foods

Parents and caregivers can help prevent obesity and support healthy growth.

  • Provide nutritious, lower-calorie foods such as fruits and vegetables.
  • Make sure drinking waters is always available.
  • Help children get the recommended 60 minutes of physical activity daily.
  • Make sure your child has healthy sleep habits.
  • Be a role model! Eat healthy meals and snacks and get the right amount of physical activity every day.

DOH-Bay’s SNAP Ed program is here to help with education and practice of healthy weight and healthy lifestyles in childcare settings, after-school programs, and schools. We have program offerings including; ReThink Your Drink, OrganWise Guys, Grow It! Try It! Like It! and Go Wild with Fruits and Vegetables. We can do these programs virtually or in-person, depending on your wants and needs. All programs are at least 20 minutes in length. Some can be done in a one-time session; others require or have the option for multiple sessions.

We also offer adult education. Our current programs include ReThink Your Drink and My Plate for My Family. In the future we will be adding Around the table and Faithful Families Thriving Communities to our education line-up.

To learn more about SNAP Ed, contact Heather Kretzer at or call (850) 252-9670. For more information on National Childhood Obesity Month, visit


About the Florida Department of Health 

The department, nationally accredited by the Public Health Accreditation Board, works to protect, promote and improve the health of all people in Florida through integrated state, county and community efforts. Follow us on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter at @HealthyFla. For more information about the Florida Department of Health, please visit