OBESITY IN CHILDRENks_wsid = 0;
75% of overweight teens become overweight adults. Over 16% of our children are now obese. We all know the obesity problem in all adults in America, but it has now spread to our children. This epidemic has been related to changes in their lifestyle, including changes in their diets and reduced physical activity.
A child who is obese has 44 times more likely to have at least 3 cardiovascular risk factors. 45% of children diagnosed with diabetes have type 2 diabetes (they need insulin). One cannot ignore that one cause is caloric intake exceeds calories being burned.
There is no simple answer to this obesity epidemic. Many things contribute to this obesity problem. They are the same for most adults. Soft drinks, junk food, candy, fast foods, and the food industry provide more calories. Eating in fast food restaurants that provide super sizes of everything temp us all. Watching TV many hours of the day, working mothers that can’t provide a home meal, poor parenting, poverty, cell phones, and computers all decrease our physical activity. The schools contribute to this problem by providing vending machines with high caloric snacks and decrease in physical activity and lack of physical education classes all aid in the epidemic.
What has this done to your child’s self esteem. They become depressed, have disturbances in their body images. This aids in poor academic performance and behavior problems increase.
Why be concerned? Because 75% of overweight teens become overweight adults. We know that a fat diet and inactivity in adults causes over 300,000 deaths each year.
What has changed? 22% of children do not participate in vigorous or even moderate physical activity. 20% are not enrolled in any physical education class and only 14% attend physical education classes daily in our schools. We know that physically fit children perform better academically. We have qualified teachers that can ensure safe and appropriate activities that are enjoyable and that improve children’s motor skills and that can keep our kids in health related fitness.
Only 2% of kids meet all the Food Guide Pyramid Recommendations and 16% don’t meet any recommendations. 12% say they skip breakfast and only 11% eat a breakfast that contains three food groups. 84% eat too much fat, 91% eat too much saturated fat, and only! 5% eat fruit, 20% get enough vegetables, 30% get enough milk, and only 19% of girls get enough calcium for bone growth and bone density.
In 1970 kids drank more milk than soft drinks. Today, 55% of kids drinks soft drinks as opposed to 25% that drink milk.
WHAT MUST WE DO FOLKS!
We must all change the school environment. Education helps our kids plan and prepare for a successful future. Children spend time in school and the school must show parents the elements that lead to a healthy lifestyle. Get involved in helping the schools resist the pressures of the food industry’s attempt to continue to make our children fat. Lifestyle changes are hard for all of us. We must show our children how to stay healthy by providing a venue to experience new tastes and new physical activities in the schools.
CAN WE START NOW!