Healthy Beginnings

Childhood Obesity Program

Obesity among children in the United States is an escalating epidemic. Over the past 30 years, we have seen more of our children suffering from obesity, and more will die early because of it. Nationally, 33% of children are overweight, and about 17% are obese. In our own county, about 25% of all children are overweight or obese. We are working to make a change!

In 2008, SMMC’s Fair Oaks Children’s Clinic developed a project to combat obesity and overweight among our young patients, who are largely from low-income, Latino families living in the North Fair Oaks / Redwood City area. The success of this project was enhanced by a collaboration with Nuestro Canto de Salud, combining clinical and community interventions.

The program is focusing on developing a greater understanding of obesity among minorities of lower socioeconomic status, among whom obesity is more prevalent.

There are many consequences to childhood obesity, including:

  • There is alarming increase in the number of children and adolescents developing Type-2 Diabetes (also termed as adult-onset diabetes) due to being overweight.
  • The high levels of cholesterol and high blood pressure, that are some of the main risk factors for development of heart diseases, are found in most of the obese children.
  • Sleep Apnea (interruption of breath while sleeping) is considered as the most severe problem faced by obese children.  In rare cases, this sleep apnea may lead to other problems like difficulty in learning and memory.
  • Obese children are on higher risk of developing, liver diseases, orthopedic problems and asthma.
  • More than 70% obese adolescents retain their overweight and obese condition even during their adulthood.

The Foundation is deeply committed to raising a healthier next generation of children.