Military families face unique challenges from relocation to inconsistent medical care and lack of community which can all impact your child’s weight. Marine Corps Community Services offers programs at military installations to help parents and children combat the emotional, social, and physical impacts of military life from fitness centers and youth sports to recreational programs and child and youth programs.

The Department of Defense (DoD) also has additional community-based resources such as Military OneSource health and wellness resources and the Resource Center for Obesity Prevention. Parents can also talk to both public and DoD Schools about school obesity prevention programs that focus on activity and healthy lifestyles to improve youth health and address obesity before it becomes a problem.

The Department of Defense has created initiatives for military communities to help combat negative behaviors associated with family obesity, such as the 5-2-1-0 Model. The model advises that children and youth eat five or more servings of fruits and vegetables per day, spend less than two hours behind electronic screens, get one or more hours of physical activity, and don’t have any sweet drinks such as juice and soda.

Across the nation, YMCA programs have also supported efforts to lower child obesity rates and reduce risk factors such as diabetes and high blood pressure in children. The YMCA military outreach initiative provides membership opportunities for families located in remote locations with no military base available.

Community engagement is critical to keeping your family healthy. Reach out to the MCCS services available on your installation to keep you and your family healthy and happy.