3 months ago by Bob Gough
Illinois kids in child care centers could be in for a lifestyle change if proposed new state regulations go into effect
Illinois kids in child care centers could be in for a lifestyle change if proposed new state regulations go into effect.
No more chocolate milk. No more walking around all day with sippy cups filled with juice. Cookies and cake? Forget about it. And no more whiling away the hours in front of a TV screen.
That is, if kids in day care are doing much of that now. At least two Springfield day care centers said they believe they are already largely, if not entirely, in compliance with the proposed new rules on diet and activity.
It’s all part of an ongoing effort to combat what health-care experts call an epidemic of obesity, even among tykes. A report issued last year found that 15.3 percent of children aged 2 to 5 years old were overweight, and 14.6 percent were what’s considered obese, which is when a person’s weight is 20 percent or more above normal weight.
“Early childhood obesity has been an organizational priority for us,” said Kate Ritter, senior policy associate with Illinois Action for Children. “We realized the need for this based on the statistics of the number of children in Illinois under the age of 5 who were already obese before they enter school. We knew this was a good time to get this put into policy.”