by Bob Wells, CPT, PES
Death. Taxes. Childhood obesity?
Each day we are confronted with the growing epidemic of childhood obesity. The percentage of obese children has tripled over the last 30 years, and it currently stands at an incredible 17% (nearly 1 in 6 children), according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
Each day, nearly 55 million school-aged children are bombarded with ads showcasing the joys of cheap, fast food. This constant exposure, designed to appeal to children, helps to render them incapable of making healthy food choices.
Instead they opt for the tastier, trendier food options featured in those cool commercials. You could call it the McDonaldization of our children.
Obese children face a myriad of psychological and physical problems. Teasing and name calling lead to lowered self esteem and social withdrawal. This negatively impacts their quality of life.
The physical side effects of obesity are insidious. They literally cut short lives. Obese children have a high rate of remaining obese as adults. In adulthood, they face a greater risk of cardiovascular disease, such as high cholesterol or hypertension (high blood pressure). They are also at a greater risk for getting cancer and diabetes and suffering strokes.
|Courtesy: Fit For All 5K|
Preventing childhood obesity requires maintaining a healthy lifestyle. A healthy lifestyle is primarily understood to be physically active and to eat healthy. (For more information about eating healthy, check out "Sculpting the Perfect Body : One Bite at a Time")
Events that promote physical activity, such as the Fit For All 5K, are a great way for children to be active and have fun doing it. (Check out the video for the 2012 Fit For All 5K)
For adults, it is a great way to support a worthy cause and set a positive example of healthy living for children.
For more information about the causes of childhood obesity and to find out how you can fight this terrible epidemic, check out the CDC and the National Initiative for Children's Healthcare Quality (NICHQ).