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TRICARE Schools Parents on Nutrition with Article Series

May 03, 2010
No. 10-39

FALLS CHURCH, Va. – How do we prevent overweight or obese children from becoming overweight or obese adults? According to the U.S. Surgeon General, Vice Adm. Regina Benjamin, obese children are more likely than children of normal weight to become overweight or obese adults. Overweight or obese adults are more at risk for several health problems, including heart disease, type 2 diabetes, stroke, several types of cancer and osteoarthritis.

            “Let’s start with healthy choices. Eat nutritious foods and exercise regularly,” Dr. Benjamin said.

            The first step in fighting childhood obesity is to cultivate an environment of healthy eating. Good nutrition is essential to good health and the best time to begin healthy eating habits is at birth. The food parents choose for their children provides the energy and nutrients kids need to grow up healthy. Making the right dietary choices supports and protects a child’s health and can help establish healthy habits lasting a lifetime.

            The first lady, Michelle Obama, is leading a national public awareness effort to tackle the epidemic of childhood obesity. She launched Let’s Move, a comprehensive, collaborative and community-oriented campaign that includes strategies to address the various factors that lead to childhood obesity.

            The Department of Defense Healthy Choices for Life campaign includes a weight management component and TRICARE is arming parents with the information to prevent, rather than to treat, obesity with a series of nutritional articles. Available at www.tricare.mil/mediacenter, each article in the series examines a stage of a child’s development, explains the best food choices, how food contributes to growth and why it’s of continuing importance.

            The series includes “Nutrition for Healthy Babies and Mothers,” “Solid Choices When Choosing Solid Foods” and “Fighting Adult Obesity Begins With Preventing Childhood Obesity.”

            Information about the ongoing TRICARE campaign to raise awareness of childhood obesity and encourage children to eat right and exercise is available at www.tricare.mil/getfit. The website contains a little something for users of all ages including articles, video messages from the surgeon general, links, games and “widgets”. 

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Sign up for TRICARE e-mail updates at www.tricare.mil/subscriptions.

Connect with TRICARE on Facebook and Twitter at www.facebook.com/tricare and www.twitter.com/tricare.

The TRICARE Management Activity administers the worldwide health care plan for 9.6 million eligible beneficiaries of the uniformed services, retirees and their families.

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