Obesity in Children
By Hans Diehl, M.D. www.chiphealth.com
Childhood obesity is rising dramatically in America! Eight million youngsters aged 5 to 11 have serious weight problems, and the number of super-obese children has tripled over the past 25 years.
That’s Hard To Believe. Isn’t Our Culture More Health-Conscious Now? Aren’t Fitness Clubs Booming?
Physical fitness is a trend among adults, but not among children. It’s grownups who are out running, walking, jogging, and joining fitness clubs and aerobic classes. It’s the older people who flock to wellness lectures and examine menus at restaurants for healthier and leaner foods.
But Don’t Schools Have Health Courses, Physical Education, and Sports Activities Warning Against Childhood Obesity?
Yes, but because of budget cuts, overcrowding, and teacher shortages, many schools have had to cut back on these childhood obesity programs in recent years. In some cases they’ve eliminated physical education courses and requirements altogether. Health classes are often unpopular with students, and now relatively few youngsters actually qualify for team positions in school-sponsored sports.
Isn’t Childhood Obesity Mostly Inherited?
Genes do play a role in a person’s weight, but they aren’t the whole answer. Environment plays the critically important role—as shown by the fact that the percentage of obese Americans has increased steadily over the past 25 years. Our gene pool can’t change that fast! That takes 300 plus years!
We now have an environment that supports childhood obesity. Once upon a time children raced home from school to change clothes and go outside to play. They climbed trees, rode bicycles, skated, played games and dribbled basketballs. Today’s children average five to eight hours a day watching television! Our entire culture promotes less physical activity and more eating. No wonder childhood obesity is rampant!
Children Learn What They See!
Adults can have a powerful influence over children through lifestyle and eating habits that they demonstrate. You can help reduce childhood obesity—or at least reduce childhood obesity in the children you influence. Learn more about how to prevent obesity in children and teens.
Pizza - No! Say No to Donuts! Melons and Fruits - Yes!