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Childhood obesity a growing problem

By Eric J. Collier
Cronus Health & Fitness

With our in home personal training services we see so many different type clients. Clients that want to just lose a few pounds for an important upcoming event, want more flexibility, gain muscle mass, and just get in overall better health. But there is one condition that is becoming more of a concern for us and needs to be more of a concern for families. And that concern is CHILDHOOD OBESITY.

Childhood obesity is a serious medical condition that affects children and adolescents. It occurs when a child is well above the normal weight for his or her age and height. Childhood obesity is particularly troubling because the extra pounds often start children on the path to health problems that were once confined to adults, such as diabetes, high blood pressure and high cholesterol. Childhood obesity can also lead to poor self-esteem and depression.

A Few Facts

According to the CDC (Center for Disease Control and Prevention) here are just a few simple facts regarding childhood obesity.

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.

Health Effects of Childhood Obesity

Childhood obesity has both immediate and long-term effects on health and well-being.

Immediate health effects:

  • Obese youth are more likely to have risk factors for cardiovascular disease, such as high cholesterol or high blood pressure. In a population-based sample of 5 – 17 year olds, 70% of obese youth had at least one risk factor for cardiovascular disease.
  • Obese adolescents are more likely to have pre-diabetes, a condition in which blood glucose levels indicate a high risk for development of diabetes.
  • Children and adolescents who are obese are at greater risk for bone and joint problems, sleep apnea, and social and psychological problems such as stigmatization and poor self-esteem.

Long-term health effects:

  • Children and adolescents who are obese are likely to be obese as adults and are therefore more at risk for adult health problems such as heart disease, type 2 diabetes, stroke, several types of cancer, and osteoarthritis. One study showed that children who became obese as early as age 2 were more likely to be obese as adults.
  • Overweight and obesity are associated with increased risk for many types of cancer, including cancer of the breast, colon, endometrium, esophagus, kidney, pancreas, gall bladder, thyroid, ovary, cervix, and prostate, as well as multiple myeloma and Hodgkin’s lymphoma.

Prevention Methods

The dietary and physical activity behaviors of children and adolescents are influenced by many sectors of society, including families, communities, schools, child care settings, medical care providers, faith-based institutions, government agencies, the media, and the food and beverage industries and entertainment industries.

Parents should serve healthy foods & snacks, encourage children to exercise, set a good example and limit the time children spend in front of a television or computer screen to under 2 hours a day.

Our in home personal training services have been very fortunate to team up with the new company SnackHealthy. SnackHealthy provides families a healthier way to snack by providing 100% all natural snacks. Their snacks have no additives or preservatives whatsoever. They are gluten free, soy free, dairy free, non GMO, 0g trans-fat, and cholesterol free. SnackHealthy is helping our clients learn to eat healthier and portion control. We suggest parents take a look at SnackHealthy and replace their current unhealthy snack budget with a healthy one and SnackHealthy provides that.

Schools must schedule at least 30 minutes of physical education a day and ensure that foods and beverages on campus meet nutrition standards. Schools need play a critical role by establishing a safe and supportive environment with policies and practices that support healthy behaviors. Schools also need to provide opportunities for students to learn about and practice healthy eating and physical activity behaviors.

Healthcare professionals should routinely assess body mass and counsel families on weight, diet and physical activity.

Food, beverage and entertainment industries should develop healthier foods and drinks, produce consistent messages urging children to become physically active and provide advertisements that are not misleading.

Community organizations and local and state governments should expand programs that encourage activity.

In the end, we as parents and society need to wake up and notice how active our kids are and what they are putting in their mouths. Sure schools should do more but the bottom line is that good health and physical fitness start at home. We as a society have lost some focus on what matters most, we are so busy with our everyday lives, rushing here, going there that it’s easier to rush through the fast food line without stopping and thinking we are slowly killing ourselves and most importantly our children’s future. Eat, drink, and BE HEALTHY!

For more information on this subject and how to eat healthier snacks you can contact Eric Collier at 256-509-9807 or visit us at www.inhomepersonaltrainingservices.com.

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