The prevalence of obesity in minors is increasing in the United States. Childhood obesity is rounded at a critical stage as approximately 15.3% of children ages 6-11 and 15.5% of adolescents ages 12-19 are overweight, and an additional 15% children and 14.9% adolescents are at risk for overweight.
Childhood obesity is on the rise and the victims are all at risk to developing Type II Diabetes, hypertension, heart disease and other obesity-related diseases at a very young age. So early in their development stage and their life expectancy already becomes predetermined limited. And at their short lifespan their memories are crammed with insults, bullying, and destruction of self-esteem. What could be the reason for their mishap?
The reason for this is two-fold. First is the genetic-factor adding to the vulnerability for childhood obesity and second and most notably, the passing-down of poor lifestyle and eating habits.
Sorry to say but the current age is made up of digital generation kids spellbound by inactive indoor entertainment and fast food convenience. Surrounded by computers, video games, and the television, children are hard to pull from the couch to have a healthy and worthwhile physical activity outdoors. And even when they eat it’s difficult to keep them from sweet and fat-saturated snacks impossible for them to burn-off. Finally when they go to school the bad custom is enforced ever more as virtually all kids do the same. – The result, widespread childhood obesity. So what should the parent do?
Not to be obese themselves is one. Yet childhood obesity is such a serious condition that efforts of providing a good example through proper nutrition and efficient exercise at home still requires established guidelines that’ll help parents and school-systems make significant changes against the problem.
These weight-health guidelines are crucial to educate all children about the perils and reality of childhood obesity and encourage them to participate in all efforts dealing with the issue. Encouragement of children to eating healthy foods and getting plenty of exercise shall produce results rather than futile if the health measures are imposed. Parents need to ensure their children about the importance of choosing healthy habits. Yet, they also need to make the assurance that such healthy alternatives are available.
Concerned individuals should keep with the USDA ‘Prescription for Change’ and ‘Healthy School Nutrition Environments’. School canteen meals should comply with nutritional standards and guidelines, while providing plenty of food choices and introducing new foods to keep the menu healthy and interesting; additional vending machines and packaged ‘snacks’ should represent the 5-major food groups in the Food Guide Pyramid; students should have designated mid-day lunch periods at a healthy environment; and all decisions made by the school-system regarding student consumption should be based on nutritional goals and guidelines, and not on profit.
Efforts should also include education and information on healthy eating habits as well as active school activity programs for students from Kindergarten through Grade12.
As you track your kid’s success – so also track his health.