America’s children are overweight. Why? Because WE are! Two-thirds (66%) of Americans are overweight according to the Centers for Disease Control/Prevention, with 15-30% of the children either overweight or dangerously close to being overweight. That means that nearly 200 million Americans fall into the overweight category. We are setting a horrible example for our children.
According to a study conducted by Weight Watchers International Inc. and the American Health Foundation, 25% of American children are now officially overweight, and the youngest are especially at risk. These extra pounds are more than just a passing phase; another ADA study suggests that half of the obese children will become fat adults.
“Obesity among children is increasing at an alarming rate, and the health consequences are very severe,” confirms Karen Miller-Kovach, RD, chief scientist for Weight Watchers. Billions of dollars every year are spent on medical bills by overweight/obese patients due to (preventable) obesity-related illnesses like diabetes, hypertension, and high cholesterol.
What’s behind the growing number of children who are now overweight? “Lack of exercise accounts for more than 50 percent of the problem,” says Miller-Kovach. She also adds, only 30 percent of the problem is due to overeating or choosing the wrong types of foods. So, let’s resolve to better ourselves, set the example, and get our children moving again.
Last week, I offered a solution — a free 45-Day Beginner workout — as part of the Get Started Again with Exercise article — for free download. Now, you can get one here for your children too. This ebook has workouts and ideas on how to get kids moving (as well as yourself) in the television room, at the playground, or at the high school track. There are plenty of fun activities to do to burn calories.
Many people who are dedicated to making a difference are opening up children’s fitness franchises all over the United States. If you are lucky to have indoor playgrounds in your area or want to build one for yourself, check out Rolly Pollies, which was developed by two former military officers. This is an example of a kid’s fitness at its finest.
Children love these places and learn from a very early age that physical activity needs to be a part of a daily routine.