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Water is among the best weapons to fight childhood obesity

September is National Childhood Obesity Awareness Month.

Studies show that one in three children in America are overweight or obese, but it is preventable.

The medical director for Children’s Health at Aurora Health Care, Dr. Kevin Dahlman says its important to take action now while children are young.

Obesity is dangerous for adults, but it’s also dangerous, perhaps more so, for children. That's because children who are obese have a higher risk for cardiovascular disease, diabetes, hypertension and more, later in life.

These health conditions can shorten the child’s lifespan. An obese child creates a higher chance of obesity in adulthood, and that adult obesity is likely to be more severe.

To see bonus clips of Dr. Dahlman's suggestions, click here.

Among Dr. Dahlman's suggestions:

•Encourage healthy eating habits - provide children with lots of vegetables, fruits and whole-grain foods

•Offer low-fat or non-fat dairy products

•Serve reasonably-sized portions - children shouldn’t eat adult-sized portions of food

•Make sure children drink plenty of water and drastically limit soda and other sugary drinks

"It's important to encourage children to be active," adds Dr. Dahlman. "There are lots of temptations for children to lead a sedentary lifestyle from social media, video games, etc. Children should run and play for at least 60 minutes per day. I recommend two hours each day. The best way to ensure this happens is to get active with your child."

•Take a walk together after dinner

•Play tag

•Put on music and dance as a family

•Walk or bike somewhere instead of driving

•Limit screen time (TV, video games, internet) to no more than two hours per day

Bring your child to their pediatrician for a yearly checkup, every year.

Doctors monitor children’s growth and weight to make sure the child is growing properly. If not, the doctor can make sure there are no medical reasons for weight coming on too quickly, and offer more personalized suggestions to maintain the child’s weight.

Aurora also offers dietitians and nutritionists who can help create food plans for children. They believe the healthiest way to lose weight is gradually and by eating less and moving more.

"Crash diets don’t work for anyone and they are particularly unhealthy for children," warns Dr. Dahlman. "If you have questions, talk to your pediatrician."

For more, please click here.

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