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University of California
EFNEP California

UC Delivers

Teaching Children Healthy Food Habits Through Parental Education
Childhood obesity is increasing and has been declared a national epidemic. Obesity in children is a critical health risk since it can lead to increased risk of diabetes and other chronic diseases later in life. In Riverside County, the percent of overweight children 0-12 years among low-income families is 14.6%, which is higher than both the national (11%) and the state (14.4%) averages. Teaching children to lead an active and healthy lifestyle could help reverse the trend in childhood obesity. Since young children learn by modeling their parents, the teaching must begin at home. Low-income families often lack access to preventive health and nutrition information. Therefore, helping low-income parents understand the relationship between diet, exercise and health, and learn how to make healthy food choices for the family is the first step in helping their children form healthy habits for life.

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