Children and Sugar: First 5 California Partners with Westfield Mall to Get Out the Word
Just in time for Halloween and other holidays sweetened by a higherthan- usual share of sugary and fatty goodies, First 5 California has partnered with Westfield Malls statewide to raise awareness about the growing childhood obesity problem. Kicking off the partnership First 5 California held a press conference highlighting children's sugar consumption and its contribution to obesity. Did you know that according to the Journal of Pediatrics the average American child consumes up to 65 pounds of sugar a year? That is 60 percent more than an average child's body weight.
As a first step showing its commitment to fighting childhood obesity, Westfield handed out First 5 California temporary tattoos instead of candy at its concierge centers during trick-or-treat events at shopping centers across California. In the coming months, the shopping centers will have First 5 California brochures and signage to help parents better understand ways to reduce the risk of obesity in their children.
"While there are many causes of childhood obesity ... we are raising awareness of a major culprit — eating too much sugar," said Kris Perry, executive director of First 5 California. "Partnering with Westfield will go a long way in helping First 5 California spread our messages on the importance of good nutrition and physical activity in a setting that is familiar and family friendly."
Currently, one in three children in California is overweight or at risk of becoming overweight, regardless of age, race or gender. Recent research suggests infants and children who are overweight at any point are more likely to remain overweight and even become obese by age 12. If left unchecked, obesity can lead to serious health problems, including Type 2 Diabetes, heart disease, stroke and cancer. Because of this growing obesity problem, the current generation of children may have shorter life expectancies than their parents.
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