The idea of childhood obesity as a national epidemic is hard for some people to grasp. The facts however, point to a rise in our youth living overweight, with a greater chance of diabetes, disease and chronic health problems. Here are a few of the startling numbers and facts about childhood obesity from the Center of Disease Control and Prevention.
-Childhood obesity has more than tripled in the past 30 years.
-The percentage of children aged 6–11 years in the United States who were obese increased from 7% in 1980 to nearly 20% in 2008. Similarly, the percentage of adolescents aged 12–19 years who were obese increased from 5% to 18% over the same period.
-In 2008, more than one third of children and adolescents were overweight or obese. Overweight is defined as having excess body weight for a particular height from fat, muscle, bone, water, or a combination of these factors. Obesity is defined as having excess body fat.
-Overweight and obesity are the result of the consumption of sugar filled, nutrient deficient foods along with lack of physical activity and various genetic, behavioral, and environmental factors.
The battle to overcome childhood obesity starts in the home. Adult influence makes the biggest impact on how children live, eat, and most importantly, their attitude about health and fitness. To me, that’s what it’s all about. Helping children develop good habits and teaching them to live a healthy lifestyle. Educating parents and children about the importance of decreasing sugar intake and increasing fun physical activities. Youth training and nutritional education give kids the confidence to participate more with their peers in social and athletic activities. They’ll develop strong habits for the future to pass along to their kids.