Did you know the prevalence of obesity in children more than tripled from 1971 to 2011?
Did you know the No. 1 health concern among parents in the United States is childhood obesity, trumping drug abuse and smoking?
It is a fact that among infants through teenagers age 18, the rates of obesity climbed between the years 1999 and 2014. And frighteningly, the numbers of children with extreme or morbid obesity has increased the most! Approximately 33% of U.S. children were overweight in 2014 and about half of those or approximately 17% were diagnosed with obesity. 17%!!
To depict the criticality of dealing with this epidemic, obesity.com created this visual:
Currently more than million U.S. children/teens are diagnosed as “severely obese.” Among teens, 10% were classified as having severe obesity, with girls more likely than boys to become severely obese. These children will likely move into adulthood with severe weight issues. A sampling of the health issues they may face as a result are; heart disease, metabolic disorders, cancers and other chronic diseases. Even if they have not already begun to show signs of lifestyle-associated diseases, their obesity its them at high risk for development of these over time.
Parents play a critical role in this epidemic. Food habits begin in the home, and the risk for obesity is associated with parental obesity. Giving your kids excessive sweets, nutritionally empty processed foods and sugar loaded soda can lead to and promote obesity. Parents may also have difficulty accepting their child has a weight problem, which makes it difficult to deal with. One of the best gifts you can give to your kids is to teach them about the importance of nutrition and to lead by example in this critical area. Our health is paramount to our future, let's educate our youth and pave the way for a brighter, healthier future.