This month, organizations and youth wellness champions across our nation are recognizing the continued need to address childhood obesity.

Childhood obesity remains a priority in nationwide and in our community. According to the 2018 PRC Child & Adolescent Community Health Needs Assessment, one in three youth in the Metro Area are obese or overweight (this is 35.9% of Metro Area children age 5-17). The same report concluded that “obesity, nutrition and exercise” ranked as the number-one perceived health issue for children under the age of 12 among parents of children in that age group.

This is a complex health issue beyond eating better and moving more. We must work together to increase access and remove barriers. For example, the CDC listed some of the factors that influence a child’s health status:

  • 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

We can work together as a community to change the narrative. Live Well Omaha Kids, under the leadership of Live Well Omaha, works collaboratively to reduce and prevent childhood obesity in Greater Omaha by creating healthy environments for all children and families. We employ these strategies:

  • Advocacy
  • Education
  • Policy development
  • Environment change

We appreciate our local partners who have teamed up with us to guide the vision and strategy of a collective effort to prevent childhood obesity. Current partners in our steering committee include:

  • American Heart Association
  • Boys Town National Research Hospital
  • Charles Drew Health Center
  • Children’s Hospital & Medical Center
  • CHI Health
  • Creighton University
  • Douglas County Board of Health
  • Douglas County Health Department
  • Gretchen Swanson Center for Nutrition
  • OneWorld Community Health Center
  • Pottawattamie County Public Health
  • Sarpy/Cass Health Department
  • UNMC College of Public Health