September is National Childhood Obesity Awareness Month
2012 National Childhood Obesity Awareness Month
How serious of a problem is childhood obesity in our country? The shocking reality is that over 23 million children and teenagers are overweight or obese in the U.S. alone and that number has been steadily rising.
- According to the 2007-2008 NHANES (National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey), obesity now affects 17% of all children and adolescents in the United States - triple the rate from just one generation ago.
- The CDC states that 1 in 3 children born in the year 2000 will develop some form of diabetes in their lifetime and that this generation may be the first to not outlive their parents, because of obesity.
- Childhood obesity puts nearly one third of America’s children at early risk for Type 2 diabetes, high blood pressure, heart disease and even stroke – conditions usually associated with adulthood.
- According to the Journal of Pediatrics overweight adolescents are more likely than normal-weight children to be victims and perpetrators of bullying and low self-esteem.
- In addition, obese children rated their quality of life, as low as a young cancer patients’ because of teasing and weight-related health problems.
- According to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), obesity among children aged 6 to 11 years increased from 6.5% in 1980 to 19.6% in 2008. Among adolescents aged 12 to 19 years, obesity increased from 5.0% to 18.1%.
- As funding for Physical Education programs in our schools decreases, children are not able to fully learn about and understand the importance of nutrition and exercise in their lives.
The good news is there are opportunities every day to do our part to help bring about positive changes to this alarming trend.
- Healthy lifestyles—being physically active, eating sensibly and avoiding tobacco use—involves the elements of our everyday lives. So does promoting those healthy lifestyles in our communities. Wherever you are—schools, workplaces, stores, homes, anywhere—you can look for ways to tell others about maintaining individual health and making it easier for everyone to prevent and address childhood obesity.
- Get Informed by visiting the National Childhood Obesity Awareness Month website. This website has a bunch of great resources to help you understand this serious issue and offers ideas to help you and your family to get moving.
- Watch the upcoming documentary The Weight of the Nation. The created THE WEIGHT OF THE NATION campaign includes a four-part documentary series, each featuring case studies, interviews with our nation’s leading experts, and individuals and their families struggling with obesity.
- Use Social Media, including following the twitter hashtag #childobesity, to connect with other parents and share ideas about incorporating health and fitness into your busy family life.
- Get Moving! Families need to be creative when planning activities. Look for family activities that encourage and incorporate more physical exercise!
The Childhood Obesity epidemic isn't going to be changed solely by our media, our government, our schools, or families alone. But it's a serious issue that we all must learn about and tackle together.