Childhood Obesity in America - Facts, Effects, Causes and Prevention

Childhood Obesity in America - Facts, Effects, Causes and Prevention The obesity epidemic in America is growing at an alarming rate, but what might shock you more than the expanding waistlines is the age of the people in those pants! Now more than ever, children are comprising the statistics of obesity in America. Obesity in young children is a serious problem with compounding effects. Good thing we’ve seen an influx in students enrolling in Registered Nursing Programs, because we’re going to need all the medical professionals we can get to treat our obese patients. Epidemic obesity is slowly killing us and we need a wake up call. A recent article from Hive Health Media states, “Experts have stated that for the first time in history, inactivity is likely to cause this generation of youth to die younger than their parents.” With obesity growing exponentially, it sadly just may be the case. The article also mentions the fact that as the childhood obesity rates in America expand, we are even seeing one-year-olds being diagnosed as obese. The worst part about it? Kids aren’t necessarily aware of the long-term, negative effects their condition will have. A new survey shows that 70 percent of Canadian teenagers believe they will have the same or longer lifespan than their parents, according to the article. Obesity and disease are very closely related, and the health effects of obesity range from cancer to high blood pressure and beyond, and if kids don’t think their extra weight will matter in the long-run, they are sadly mistaken. According to the New England Journal of Medicine, two thirds of adults in the United States today are obese or overweight. A shocking 28 percent of men and 34 percent of women are obese as well. Blame it on video games, junk food, genetics or whatever else you’d like, but when it comes down to it, the causes of obesity in children are very straightforward. They are eating too much and exercising too little. Only 12 percent of the 70 percent in Canada who believe they will live as long as their parents are getting the recommended minimum of 90 minutes of moderate to vigorous exercise per day, according to the article. The solution? Bump up the fruit and vegetable intake and get moving! Encourage your kids to exercise by coordinating fun family activities such as biking, hiking or simply taking a walk after dinner. Even if your kids involuntarily vomit at the mere mention of broccoli, you can get them to eat more veggies by sneaking them into their favorite foods. Teaching your kids that proper nutrition and regular exercise are life-long practices that must be maintained in order to avoid obesity will help them live longer and happier lives.

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