Information on Your Waushara County

Preventing kids’ summer weight gain

Summer marks a hiatus from the daily responsibilities and scheduled demands children face during the rest of the year. While adults might remember their summer vacations filled with water-balloon fights, bike rides to the corner store, campfires and playground games, children today are likely to spend more time indoors watching TV, playing video games and snacking. 

The school year provides a structure for eating, sleeping and physical activities involving school sports or after school programs. But in the summertime, due to less physical activity, children may gain up to three times as much weight as they do during the entire school year. 

“Several studies have documented a tendency for accelerated weight gain among children during summer school vacation,” says Amber Canto, state coordinator of the Wisconsin Nutrition Education Program. Programs such as summer camps, increased access to recreational facilities, and summer food programs may be potential opportunities for communities to support active living and healthy eating over the summer. 

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