Obesity in America has become a serious health problem. If that isn’t bad enough we’re passing it on to our children. Research has shown that children who have a parent that is obese are 40% more likely to be obese. And when both parents are obese that number is doubled to 80%. The results are kids having metabolic syndrome at an early age including the onset of arterial disease among other problems. Take a look at these facts from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
“Among children aged 6 to 11 years, the prevalence of obesity has more than doubled over the past three decades, rising from 6.5% in 1980 to 17.0% in 2006. The rate among adolescents aged 12 to 19 years has more than tripled during the same period, increasing from 5.0% to 17.6%. Childhood obesity has both immediate and long-term health impacts:
· Young people who are obese are at greater risk for bone and joint problems and sleep apnea.
· Obese children and adolescents can suffer social and psychological problems, such as stigmatization and poor self-esteem.
· Young people who are obese are more likely than children of normal weight to become overweight or obese adults.
· Six in ten obese young people have at least one additional risk factor for heart disease, such as high cholesterol or high blood pressure.
Good eating habits and regular physical activity are critical for maintaining a healthy weight. Unfortunately, less than 25% of adolescents eat enough fruits and vegetables, and only a third of adolescents get the recommended 60 minutes or more of physical activity daily.”
As an ASFA Childhood Obesity Specialist you can bring attention to yourself as a means for parents to get their kids moving. Create fun and exciting programs to help motivate the kids and get them away sedentary activities. Exercise is important but exercise for kids is different than for adults. The same goes for dietary concerns. You must be careful when altering the nutritional intake for children. Kids will not readily take to a radical change in their eating habits. It takes small changes as well educating them on healthy eating habits.
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