Almost 15 percent of American kids are overweight, according to USA Today. Today’s kids eat 150 to 200 more calories a day now than kids did 10-15 years ago. Because of frequent snacking, kids consume one-third to one-half of a meal more a day than they did a decade ago.
Obese or overweight children are at an increased risk for developing type 2 diabetes and all the consequences of diabetes like kidney failure, congestive heart failure, high blood pressure, elevated risk of arthritis and shortened life span.
Hours spent in front of the television increase a child's risk of becoming obese, according to a Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine study, because of lack of physical movement, more mindless eating and increased exposure to junk food advertising.
"The answer lies first of all in public education," says one expert. "We need to mobilize communities and/or churches to generate safe after-school activities that involve exercise and to encourage schools to reinstitute physical education as a requirement." Most of all, however, parents still have a responsibility to model healthy behaviors, stock healthful, balanced food in the house and to be positive examples of physical health.
As an individual who has struggled with my weight my entire life this is somewhat of a passion of mine. It makes me very sad to see the rate for obesity increasing and causing so many health issues.
I understand in this fast paced busy world we live in, it might seem easier to stop for fast food or eat out, but a crock pot can provide a quick healthy meal or cook a big batch of food on Saturday or Sunday, healthy eating just required a little planning ahead.
Please require your children to get as much physical activity as they do electronic time and encourage your children to be involved in sports. All change starts with you!