September is National Childhood Obesity Awareness Month so it is only fitting we discuss this growing threat and how you, new and expectant moms, can play a role in prevention. Childhood obesity has more than doubled in children in the past 30 years and has affects in both the immediate and long-term. Children today are experiencing health conditions once categorized as adult only health problems that not only have the possibility to last their entire lifetime, but will continue to worsen with time.
Health Effects of Childhood Obesity
Immediate health effects of childhood obesity:
- Increases the risk for cardiovascular disease such as high cholesterol or high blood pressure.
- Increases the risk of prediabetes.
- Increases the risk for bone and joint problems, sleep apnea, and social and psychological problems.
Long-term health effects of childhood obesity:
- Increases the likelihood of being obese as an adult.
- Increases risk of heart disease, type 2 diabetes, stroke, and osteoarthritis as an adult.
- Increases the risks for cancers such as breast, colon, edometrium, esophagus, kidney, pancreas, gall bladder, thyroid, ovary, cervix, and prostate.
Breastfeeding and Childhood Obesity
There are many reasons women choose to breastfeed their children. Breastfeeding promotes bonding, lowers mom’s health risks, saves money and is nutritionally superior for infants. What you might not realize is breastfeeding actually lowers the risk for childhood obesity.
- Breastfed babies are able to control the amount of milk they consume meaning they are able to recognize and respond to internal cues for when they are hungry and when they are full. Overriding these cues is overriding their self-regulation of energy intake.
- Breastfed babies have higher levels of leptin in their bloodstream which is a hormone that controls hunger and body fat.
- Breast milk contains flavors from the foods that the mother eats so breastfed babies are more likely to try and accept new foods. If the mother eats a wide variety of healthy foods, her baby will be more prone to accepting these foods as a child.
It is no secret that you play a vital role in the development of your children. Regardless of your reasoning to breastfeed, you can rest easy knowing you are providing your child with superior nutrition that has a lifetime of benefits. We are committed to raising awareness for National Childhood Obesity Awareness Month this September, and always. Let us help you do your part by qualifying for a breastpump through insurance here. We look forward to helping you and your growing family!