We have all heard the child obesity staggering statistics. We have watched numerous talk show hosts highlight the plight of an obese child. If you are not aware of the statistics The Center for Disease Control has estimated that 16% of our children, more than 12 million children are obese. In a recent study conducted by the American Heart Association found the following in 2002:
1. There are three times as many super markets in wealthy neighborhoods.
2. In communities with a higher percentage of African American residents there are less parks, public pools, and green spaces to play.
3. Between 1970 and 1980 fast food locations increased to 140,000 from 30,000. In 2001 there were approximately 222,000 fast food joints.
4. Children eat 770 calories at fast food joint verses 420 calories at home.
5. 92% of children in elementary do not have adequate physical education classes.
These statistics can be found American Heart Association Research
As I read the statistics and watch television shows that highlight the epidemic, I can’t help but wonder where are the parents? No parent intends for a child to be obese or overweight. But what happens to our children? What happens to the children is the same thing that happens to parents. We are bombarded with images of fast food joints; the convenience of life is killing us.
In order to save our children we have to save our parents first. Children learn from their parents good and bad habits. So if you have poor eating, and physical fitness habits this is the legacy you are leaving your children. Stop making excuses and start planning with your children. If living a healthy lifestyle were easy everyone would be able to do it. Start by:
1. Make a plan to cook and prepare healthy meals with your children.
2. Make shopping for groceries fun.
3. Add more fruits and vegetables to your meals. Have fruit at least once a day.
4. Include roller-skating or a park day in your week.
5. Eliminate soda, juices and fruit drinks and substitute sweetened ice tea with agave.
6. Come up with a goal or plan for the entire family.
7. Have a contest with your family and your neighbors.
8. Get Started today