160919 Childhood obesity 1/2

Before you read this post, take a moment and look at the ActivelyFitSeniors site. If you are retired, near retirement age, have parents or know an older person, this site relates directly to them.

160919 Childhood obesity 1/2

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.

The National Center for Health Statistics (NCHS) states that more than nine million of our children are overweight. Obesity in our 2-6 year old preschool children, and adolescents, 12-19 years old has doubled since the 1970’s. This rate has tripled in the 6-11 year olds!

Unfortunately, similar increases have occurred within the adult population during this nearly four-decade period.

We are not active enough to ward off this onslaught of health problems as evidenced by the fact that over half of the 12-21 year olds do not regularly engage in vigorous activity or exercise. Some blame the television or computer. The statistics are clear that overweight and obese children watch more television or play on the computer more than their healthier and lower weight peers.

Not only are these kids fatter but 7% of them suffer from sleep apnea when their breathing temporarily stops or is suspended briefly periodically throughout the night. This causes a lack of restful sleep that continues to accumulate. Loss of sleep upsets the hormonal balances within the body. These hormones regulate body fat levels.

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.

Another gentle reminder:

activelyfitseniors.blogis focused on the older generation with such topics as Aerobic Training, Anaerobic Exercise, Balance, Training Benefits Of Exercise, Body Composition, Equipment, Fitness, Flexibility, Miscellaneous Info, and Physical Activity presented by professionals in the field.