September is Childhood Obesity Awareness Month

Sep 19, 2023

Sept. 19, 2023. Reno/Sparks, Nev. – September is Childhood Obesity Awareness Month, and it’s an opportunity to raise awareness about childhood obesity and ways to prevent it while also reducing its stigma, including adopting the 5210 guidelines.  

For the annual observance, Northern Nevada Public Health (NNPH) is teaming up with the Nevada Division of Public and Behavioral Health, Food Bank of Northern Nevada, Northern Nevada HOPES, and other community partners to promote healthy behaviors that can reduce the risk of chronic diseases including obesity. A key focus of this effort is promoting 5210 Healthy Washoe, guidelines which entail the following practices to develop and maintain healthy habits:

  • 5 – servings of fruits and vegetables daily
  • 2 – hours or less of recreational screentime daily
  • 1 – hour of physical activity each day
  • 0 – sugary drinks each day

In Washoe County, 13.7 percent of high school students have obesity and 18.1 percent are overweight compared to the statewide averages (15.9 percent of high school students having obesity and 18.1 percent overweight). Statewide, among children entering kindergarten in fall 2019, 11.1 percent were considered overweight and about one-fifth (21.3 percent) had obesity. Nationally, 19.3 percent or 14.4 million children are estimated to have obesity.

“Healthy weight for children and adults is key to avoiding the chronic diseases of the heart and circulatory system, diabetes, and cancer,” said Kevin Dick, District Health Officer for NNPH, formerly known as the Washoe County Health District. “The healthy eating and active living 5210 practices can help children and adults stay healthy and active in the present and in years to come.”

Many factors can contribute to excess weight gain, including behavior, genetics and taking certain medications. Other factors include childcare, school and work environments, access to healthy foods and beverages, and access to safe and convenient places for physical activity. Chronic disease health risks associated with obesity include diabetes, high blood pressure and high cholesterol and more.

The goal of 5210 Healthy Washoe is to bring community awareness of the guidelines in everyday settings such as schools and healthcare offices for children and their families to recognize. To learn more about 5210 Healthy Washoe, visit

The Chronic Disease and Injury Prevention Program at the Health District seeks to empower Washoe County Residents to adopt and maintain safe and healthy lifestyles by focusing on the modifiable risk factors that contribute to chronic disease and injury and offering resources for individuals, parents, businesses, and medical practitioners.  Visit to learn more.

Northern Nevada Public Health (NNPH) is nationally accredited by the Public Health Accreditation Board and has jurisdiction over all public health matters in Reno, Sparks, and Washoe County through the policy-making District Board of Health. NNPH consists of five divisions: Administrative Health Services, Air Quality Management, Community and Clinical Health Services, Environmental Health Services and Epidemiology & Public Health Preparedness. More info can be found here.