Get Healthy in September


Each September, the America On the Move Foundation Inc. hosts STEPember, a month-long celebration highlighting how easy it is to be active and eat healthfully. America On the Move is an evidence-based not-for-profit organization helping individuals, families, communities, work sites and more to make positive changes to improve their health and quality of life. During the month of September, America On the Move challenges Americans to try its small-changes approach to healthier living.

In America today, approximately one-third of the population is considered overweight while another one-third is obese. America On the Move’s own research proves that small, specific changes in food and physical activity behaviors can have a significant impact on health and effectively stop weight gain. The foundation encourages individuals to move more and eat healthier by making two small daily changes. Successful implementation of these changes is proven to help stop the average adult from gaining one to two pounds of weight a year. These two steps are:

  • Taking 2,000 more steps (about one mile)
  • Eat 100 fewer calories (about a tablespoon of butter)

Adults are not the only age group hit by obesity epidemic. The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) estimates that 17 percent (or 12.5 million) children and adolescents aged 2-19 are obese. Since 1980, obesity prevalence among children and adolescents has almost tripled. There are a variety of reasons for this increase, including a greater abundance and availability of high-fat and -sugar foods combined with a decrease in physical activity due to the prevalence of indoor, sedentary activities, such as video games, the Internet and watching TV. In fact, the CDC reports that children 8-18 years of age spend an average of 7.5 hours a day using entertainment media, including TV, computers, video games, cell phones, and movies.

Because children who are obese are more likely to become obese as adults, it is important to teach children healthy eating and exercise habits from an early age. Additionally, if children are overweight, obesity in adulthood is likely to be more severe. In addition to physical risks, obese children and adolescents have a greater risk of social and psychological problems, such as discrimination and poor self-esteem, which can continue into adulthood.

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