The Youth Crisis Center (YCC) and Feeding Northeast Florida are teaming up to combat obesity in Jacksonville’s children.
September is National Childhood Obesity Awareness Month.
About one in five children over six in the U.S. are considered obese, according to the Centers for Disease Control.
Appearing on Thursday’s First Coast Connect, YCC Director of Strategic Partnerships Nina Lopez said many children are facing troubles that lead to poor dietary habits.
“In the clients we serve, children and families are dealing with common causes of obesity and this could stem from everything such as genetics, metabolism problems, environmental factors and what’s going on in the community in general, a lack of sleep maybe, bad eating habits and a lack of physical activities,” she said.
Feeding Northeast Florida CEO Frank Castillo said his group is working with YCC to help create a food pantry for at-risk children and their families with more healthy food options.
Many of the children live in so-called “food deserts” where healthy food options can be hard to come by.