The battle to curb childhood obesity is critically tied to how much and what types of foods are consumed. According to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), childhood obesity has more than doubled in children and quadrupled in adolescents over the past 30 years. Currently, 17.5% of children and adolescents ages 3-to-19 are obese -- that's almost 13-million youth! The harmful effects of obesity are well documented and can include greater risk of:
- high blood pressure
- high cholesterol
- impaired glucose tolerance / type 2 diabetes
- breathing problems such as sleep apnea and asthma
- muscoskeletal and joint problems
- fatty liver disease
- psychological stress / low self-esteem
Part of the obesity epidemic is also linked to poverty. The most food-insecure kids also carry the highest risk for childhood obesity, according to a study published in the Journal of American Osteopthic Association. As a result, children two and older aren't eating enough fruits, vegetables, whole grains or low-fat dairy products.
I think if we can teach kids to live a healthier lifestyle and have fun doing it, then we are essentially creating a healthier future.