By Dr. Rick Tague
Childhood Obesity Awareness Month: Be aware every month, not just September!
September has been designated Childhood Obesity Awareness Month. Although this is a great tool to build awareness about a growing problem (pardon the pun), every month should be focused on identifying and helping children who are suffering the immediate and eventually, long-term consequences of being over weight.
According to the CDC (Center for Disease Control) childhood obesity has tripled over the past 30 years! Yes, we said tripled! For children aged 6-11 years, obesity has increased from 6.5% in 1980 to 19.6% in 2008. For those aged 12-19 years, prevalence has increased from 5.0% to 18.1% These figures are alarming regardless of what month it is!
The burden on these children has far reaching effects. Obese children are more likely to have increased risk factors for cardiovascular disease (like high cholesterol and high blood pressure). Children who are obese are at greater risk for bone and joint problems, sleep apnea, type 2 diabetes and other problems generally seen in adults. Not to mention the psychological ramifications effecting a child’s self-esteem and social activities. If this wasn’t enough to put childhood obesity at the forefront…a 2005 study found that children today may have a shorter lifespan (by 2 to 5 years) than their parents! All because of obesity. It is estimated that obesity costs Americans $147 billion a year in weight-related medial bills, with this number to increase dramatically over the next 10 years!
So, what’s a person to do? It’s actually easy…eat healthier and get adequate exercise. Set a good example for your kids, help a kid in need, and help to educate those who suffer from obesity. These are all things we all can do to make a better future for our kids and our country. There is hope and there is a better, healthier life out there for everyone!
If you, or someone in your family, is suffering from obesity, give the Center for Nutrition a call at 1-877-273-8446 and let our caring and professional staff set up a FREE consultation to review your health goals! Children are accepted on a case-by-case basis and individualized programs can be developed for them, as well as their parents.