031218 Childhood obesity 2/2

031218 Childhood obesity 2/2

Health care and fitness professionals throughout the United States and other affluent nations are increasingly alarmed at the growing epidemic of childhood obesity. This upward spiral of obesity, diabetes, and heart disease demands immediate attention if changes in these unhealthy trends are to be reversed. Perhaps a quick look at the problem will set the tone for action.

Parents set the example. If one parent is obese, the child has a fifty percent chance of also being obese. This increases thirty percent up to eighty percent when both parents are obese. This kid doesn’t have a chance under these circumstances.

Obesity brings on the added risk of diabetes later on in life. For those born in 2000, a potential diagnosis of type 2 diabetes exists in thirty percent of the boys and forty percent for the girls during their life span.

The sad part is this situation can be dramatically altered simply by exercising or engaging in physical activity every day. However, we don’t because we have to watch our favorite show, play on the computer, eat fast food, rather than cook a healthy meal, drink pop and sugar filled fake fruit juices, ride instead of walk, use the escalator in lieu of the stairs….

In the education system, we have less than eight percent of our elementary and less than seven percent of our middle and high schools requiring daily physical education for the students. It should not be up to the schools to get the kids active, sure, it helps, but the main responsibility lies within the family unit. The modeling takes place at home. If the parents are inactive, overweight, and obese the chances are great, the kids will be too.