Living in the south, you see this more than most. With 3 states in the area representing the Top 3 in youth obesity. With this distinction comes an increase in diabetes, asthma and a plethora of orthopedic problems. Parents, schools and communities all over the country are sharing this heavy burden with the epidemic rise in youth obesity. In the last several years,
- Parents get a general check up with your physician or pediatrician.
- Making sure to check for diabetes, blood panels, etc.
- Educate yourself on the basics of nutrition and exercise to teach your children or students. No one will take a more proactive approach at your child’s future health and wellness than you.
- Educate yourself on general nutrition and how to analyze a food label to determine what appropriate food choices are.
- Have your child keep a food log with what they are eating, when they are eating and why (is it simply lunch, are they bored, depressed, etc).
- Determine what are the motivating factors to your child’s eating habits.
- Get involved! Our children mimic our behavior more than we will ever know. The example we set in front of them every day is the example they will follow. Getting involved in fitness activities with your child on weekends or at night not only creates a great time to bond, but also models a behavior for them.
- For a great book, check out Fundamental Fitness: Playground Exercises for Grownups by Jen Hoeft. This book provides all kinds of exercises you can do with your children to improve everyone’s fitness. They are fun, active and easy to do.
- Seek help if you
need it. There are some programs
being run by various fitness clubs and personal trainers. Make sure you get the right one for you and
your child and that you have someone who is qualified.
- Increased national health care costs for all. With rise in obesity comes a rise in all health care costs associated with diabetes, heart disease, cancer, depression, etc.
- Increased national security costs - current injury rates amongst new recruits in the US Military are rising. Why? One major component is lack of physical preparedness.
- Decreased global standings in education - there is a plethora of research indicating that mental acuity, ability to learn and retain information is greatly impacted with all of the health conditions associated with obesity.
- Decreased national security - with the rise in national obesity rates comes a recruitment population of dwindling size and ability.