You protected our country during your military service, now you can protect your family from the risks of childhood obesity by being a healthy role model. Childhood obesity is an increasing problem in the United States.  Obesity leads to short-term risks such as trouble breathing, high blood pressure, and social problems as well as long-term risks like heart disease, diabetes, and cancer.

The good news is that you can help protect members of your family from the risks of obesity. By developing healthy lifestyle habits yourself, you can help the children in your family create healthy habits, too. You can be a role model by eating well, exercising, and involving your family in your healthy habits.

If you are a Veteran, your local VA facility has registered dietitians who want to help you improve your health and become a healthy role model for your family. VA offers different options to fit around your schedule and goals. You can choose to be seen one-on-one with a dietitian or you can choose to attend a group class. Nutrition classes are taught by registered dietitians and cover information on healthy diets and lifestyle changes.

For example, many VA hospitals offer a cooking class to teach you healthy cooking skills and recipes to make for you and your family. You can get involved in the MOVE! weight management program to learn how to improve your health. If you prefer to stay at home, ask your VA provider about the Home Telehealth or TeleMOVE! program to provide health support in the comfort of your home. You can also click on the links below for more information and resources.

Next time you are at your local VA, ask to be referred to a registered dietitian. You can also call your VA and ask to be transferred to Nutrition and Food Service to make an appointment with a registered dietitian or attend a nutrition class. By being a healthy role model, you can feel good about yourself and watch your children follow your habits. Be a hero and make an appointment today!

Helpful Links

Nutrition Information for Veterans

MOVE! Weight Management Program

More information on Childhood Obesity

Amy Yahiro is completing her dietetic internship at the Edward Hines, Jr. VA Medical Center in Hines, Illinois. She graduated from the University of Illinois in Urbana-Champaign in 2011 and is currently on her way to becoming a registered dietitian.

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Published on Aug. 24, 2012

Estimated reading time is 2 min.

Views to date: 83


  1. Dana, RD September 2, 2012 at 3:07 pm

    Great article Amy!

  2. COTS August 29, 2012 at 5:19 pm

    You’re right Amy. I personally talk to friends and even acquaintances when I see their child a little overweight already. Telling them the negative effect of obesity when they grow up. Obesity specially on small children is not cute (which was a wrong concept of parents) and NOT healthy. This is one small way I can share thoughts (like what you’ve shared through writing) to help people.

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