Healthy Eating and Active Lifestyles Begin at Home

It hardly needs saying that families are one of the most important and lasting influences on the choices—health and otherwise—that children and youth make. So when it comes to preventing excess weight gain and obesity, parents and guardians have fantastic potential to steer children in directions that lay the foundation for lifelong good health.

Children today live in a world that more readily promotes unhealthy eating than healthy eating, and fosters sedentary activities more than physical activities. But parents can provide children with the tools and experience they need to ignore the unhealthy cues and make healthy choices.

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The aim of the Harvard School of Public Health Obesity Prevention Source Web site is to provide timely information about obesity’s global causes, consequences, prevention, and control, for the public, health and public health practitioners, business and community leaders, and policymakers. The contents of this Web site are not intended to offer personal medical advice. You should seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition. Never disregard professional medical advice or delay in seeking it because of something you have read on this Web site. The Web site’s obesity prevention policy recommendations are based primarily on a review of U.S. expert guidance, unless otherwise indicated; in other countries, different policy approaches may be needed to achieve improvements in food and physical activity environments, so that healthy choices are easy choices, for all.