Developing healthy lifestyles during childhood can have a number of benefits. Down the road, those we are in good shape tend to have fewer health conditions and pay lower life insurance premiums.
Despite this, a large number of American children are not eating a balanced diet and getting enough exercise. Congress has declared September National Childhood Obesity Awareness Month in an attempt to help thwart the epidemic.
Research published by the National Center for Chronic Disease Prevention and Health Promotion shows a study which found a third of obese preschool children grew into obese adults.
Obesity has been linked to a variety of life-shortening conditions, such as heart disease and cancer.
The American Dietetic Association is behind the government's recent initiative and has established several outreach programs of their own. One such effort is the RD Coach program, which is designed to teach children life-long health habits, says ADA spokesperson Melinda Johnson.
"RD Coaches offer a perfect example of registered dietitians doing what they do best: helping people, in this case children from underprivileged areas, apply sound food choices in their meal selections and teaching kids about balancing 'energy in and energy out,'" says Johnson.