Apr 6, 2011 9:24 AM by Tracy Wirtz
The "You Gotta Move" message is not only for adults. It's for children as well. The rates are alarmingly high... one in three children in the United States is overweight or obese. A booklet compiled by the American Heart Association uncovers some startling realities.
There are many reasons and excuses for the upward trend. Americans are eating out more, portion sizes are growing, there's lots of cool technology and 24-hour cartoon channels. Children just don't play outside like they used to. But the effects of obesity, especially obesity in childhood, are sobering.
1. Obesity negatively affects EVERY organ system in the body.
2. Obesity is now regarded as more damaging than smoking or excessive drinking.
3. Obese children have the arteries of a 45-year-old.
According to the booklet, one of the most sobering statements comes from former Surgeon General Richard Carmona, who characterized the threat as follows:
"Because of the increasing rates of obesity, unhealthy eating habits and physical inactivity, we may see the first generation that will be less healthy and have a shorter life expectancy than their parents."
It is more important than ever that adults, especially parents, set a good example to children by teaching them to eat healthy and encouraging them to get outside and move around so we can combat this reversible problem.
Download "Understanding Childhood Obesity"