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10th graders with healthy weight

Supplemental Information
Why is this a priority?

Young people who are at a healthy weight feel better, are more active and do better in school. Extra weight puts young people at risk for being overweight in adulthood and for serious health problems like asthma, diabetes and heart disease. Washington’s future depends on the health of our children. We want the next generation to be the healthiest ever. Helping children have a healthy weight is one of the most important things we can do.

How are we doing?

In 2016, about 70.8% of 10th grade students were at a healthy weight. In 2011, Washington was one of 18 states that showed the first ever decline in obesity in children ages 2-4.

What are we working on?

Creating the Healthiest Next Generation in collaboration with Office of Superintendent of Public Instruction, Department of Early Learning and community partners.

  • Physical activity in early learning settings, schools and communities across Washington. Approaches include creating safe walking and biking paths in neighborhoods, designing streets that encourage walking and biking and supporting programs like Safe Routes to School and walking school buses to help children walk to school.
  • Eating healthy and drinking water in early learning settings, schools and communities across Washington. Approaches include implementing Healthy Kids-Healthy Schools grants and training child care providers on best practices for child nutrition.
  • Supporting and encouraging breastfeeding, including through Breastfeeding Friendly Washington. Breastfeeding is a proven strategy to maintain healthy weight in young children.

Educating parents and providers.

  • Mailing Child Profile newsletters to every parent with a child under age six. These mailings provide information about health and safety, including tips on breastfeeding, nutrition, and physical activity.
  • Disseminating resources and training for providers to promote healthy weight gain during pregnancy, monitor children’s growth, and provide weight management counseling.

Implementing the Women, Infants, and Children (WIC) Nutrition Program.

  • WIC is a nutrition program for pregnant women, new and breastfeeding moms, and children under 5. WIC provides monthly checks for healthy food, health screenings and referrals, nutrition education, and breastfeeding support. WIC participation is associated with improved diets in children.
How can you help?

Teenagers.

  • Get moving at least 60 minutes of physical activity every day.
  • Limit time spent in front of screens like television, computers, smart phones and video games.
  • Eat healthy meals and snacks. Make half your plate fruits and vegetables, eat whole grains, and switch to fat-free or low-fat (1%) milk.
  • Rethink your drink: Hidden calories can add up fast in what we drink. Choose low-fat milk, water and other non-sweetened beverages most often. Limit sweetened beverages like soda, flavored coffee, sports and energy drinks.

Families.

  • Look for new ways to make healthy meals and eat together at home more often. Learn more by visiting this website .
  • Encourage your children to drink water.
  • Encourage your children to be physically active every day. Learn more by visiting this website.
  • Limit time spent in front of screens like television, computers, smart phones, and video games (less than 2 hours a day).
  • Get support from someone who knows about being a busy parent and keeping children healthy. Follow the Adventures in Health blog from the Department of Health.

Pregnant women.

  • Find out how much weight you should gain while pregnant. For more information, download this flier.
  • Eat well during your pregnancy. For more information on nutrition for pregnancy and breastfeeding mothers, visit this website.
  • Find out if you’re eligible for the WIC Nutrition program by calling the Family Health Hotline at 1-800-322-2588 or by visiting this website.
  • Consider breastfeeding your baby for at least the first six months. Babies who are breastfed are more likely to have a healthy weight. For information about breastfeeding visit our website. If you need support, call the National Breastfeeding Helpline at 1-800-994-9662.
Reported by: Department of Health