Ohio’s Plan to Prevent Childhood Obesity

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Ohio’s Plan to Prevent Childhood Obesity

The obesity rate among children and adults in Ohio has swelled far beyond an acceptable level, and state officials are fighting back. It’s called the Ohio Obesity Prevention Plan, and it was released at the end of March.

This is the state’s five-year initiative to help reverse the obesity trend that has made it the 17th heaviest state in the country. Right now, an estimated two-thirds of adults are overweight or obese – and more than a third of Ohio’s youth have weight problems.

The plan’s purpose is to not just encourage healthier eating and more exercise, but to make those methods more available to everyone there, everywhere. Over the next five years, the Ohio Department of Health hopes to spearhead policies that target unhealthy lifestyle factors among adults and limit access to unhealthy food and beverage choices among children in schools.

Change exercise and eating habits now, experts say, and today’s children will become healthier adults. The department is also prepared to spend time each year examining the policies they have developed, in case any of them need to be changed.

The plan, as developed, may do more for the obesity problems of the future than for cases that are observed today. But based on the current trend, many obese children are set to develop diabetes, high blood pressure and high cholesterol, often even before they reach adulthood.

And, as Kristopher Weiss of the Ohio Department of Health recently noted, if this doesn’t change, many of today’s children will live shorter lives than their parents.

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