Prevent Childhood Obesity...OK How?
Childhood obesity is a serious health concern for children and adolescents. It is on the verge of supplanting smoking as the nation’s No. 1 preventable cause of disease and death. If that doesn’t worry you, how about this:
According to the Center Of Disease Control (CDC), the current generation of kids is the first to ever have a shorter life expectancy than their parents.
Physical challenges, obesity in particular, is increasingly prevalent among youth fitness populations in the U.S. You may wonder: Why are doctors, scientists, and parents or other concerned adults not troubled enough by this trend?
Challenge #1...Childhood Obesity
Everyone has a solution, right? Remove the soda and snack machines from schools; build more parks in urban neighborhoods; make time for at least an hour of physical activity each day for children. First lady Michele Obama knows we’ve lost our sense of perspective and moderation when it comes to food. But even a White House-led crusade (“Let’s Move”) fully-loaded with medical experts and celebrities won’t be enough. Why? Because the lense through which we view the issue is distorted.
Childhood obesity epidemic is a misnomer; I’ve never known a group of 6-year-olds to drive themselves to Arby’s for roast beef sandwiches, curly fries, and chocolate turnovers. Most kids under 10 don’t have jobs. They don’t feed themselves. They eat what their parents eat.
2/3 of adults in this country are overweight and they’re bringing their kids along for the ride (thru the fast food drive-thru).
A group of so-called Childhood obesity Warriors – experts in the fields of nutrition, psychology, and pediatrics, are fighting the good fight: healthier school lunches; more opportunities for exercise; free health clinics; and more walking and bike-friendly communities. But we can’t make our kids healthy if we continually gorge ourselves at Olive Garden and Outback Steakhouse. That’s like a smoker running a smoking cessation clinic. Yes, our environments are hostile to physical movement. Yes, we’re bombarded with unhealthy food choices and egregious portion sizes. Yes, high-fructose corn syrup tastes good. But for the sake of our children, can’t we just say no? Can’t we eat a salad instead of a burger? Can’t we drink water instead of soda? We do eat out, can’t we bring home 75% of the meal and eat it over the course of the week? Can’t we stop eating like we’re starving?
While we’re halting our gorging, we might consider a recent Ohio State University study that found that kids who adopted the following three practices were less likely to be obese: 1) Eating dinner regularly with the family; 2) Watching less than 2 hours of TV per day; and 3) Sleeping 10+ hours. All of these are within the grasp of most families.
I’m happy to get worked up about childhood obesity (we all should be). The premise, of course, is to ask a valid question:
Don't Worry Because It Is A