National Food Safety Education and Childhood Obesity Awareness

September is the National Food Safety Education Month and Childhood Obesity Awareness Month. Many people don’t realize these are interconnected health concerns.  This month highlights the importance of food safety in preventing foodborne illnesses, such as food poisoning.

However, it’s also about taking an active role in learning about everyday food safety and how it impacts our health. The FDA states that there are approximately 48 million annual cases of foodborne illnesses, meaning 1 in 6 Americans each year suffers from some sort of food illness or allergy related to food.

The National Childhood Obesity Awareness Month aims to educate children and their families on preventing childhood obesity. Food safety is a critical part of that since food advertising of non-nutritious foods is directly linked to high rates of childhood obesity. A lack of knowledge about healthy foods and dietary habits can increase the uptake of unhealthy foods, hence why these awareness campaigns are held during the same month.

Doctors issue blood tests to identify health concerns and co-morbidities associated with obesity. As such, HDL and LDL cholesterol levels are always measured in at-risk children. LDL cholesterol, often called bad cholesterol, increases from consuming trans fats found in fried food and commercial baked goods.

Trans fats also raise triglyceride levels, increasing the risk of stroke, heart attack, heart disease, and type 2 diabetes. All of these are known obesity-related co-morbidities. Hence, tests for measuring blood sugar levels are also conducted for at-risk children.

These tests are typically issued by doctors and administered by phlebotomy technicians. These are trained medical professionals who know which tubes and needles to use for which tests and can also help patients understand the importance of tests.

Illinois Health Careers offers two professional courses for people interested in becoming phlebotomists and medical assistants. These affordable courses involve extensive hands-on training to transform students into learned and competent professionals in the healthcare sector. Learn more about these courses by visiting Illinois Health Careers!

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