Wednesday, September 7, 2016

Couch Potato Children

Experts predict that many parents could soon outlive their couch-potato children, as junk foods and a lack of exercise send them to their graves almost a decade early. BEEZY MARSH, Daily Mail

It's been 6 years since The White House released President Obama proclaimed September National Childhood Obesity Awareness month in 2010. 

Within the same White House Press Release the announcement of the new landmark health care law, the Affordable Care Act (ACA), includes a number of important tools for fighting and reversing the rise of childhood obesity.  All new health insurance plans will be required to cover both screenings for childhood obesity and counseling on nutrition and sustained weight loss, without charging any out of pocket costs.  The ACA also requires large restaurant and vending machine operators to provide visible nutritional information about the products they sell, enabling all Americans to make more informed choices about the foods they eat.  

The press release goes on to say a Task Force on Childhood Obesity was developed to marshal the combined resources of the Federal Government to develop interagency solutions and make recommendations on how to respond to this crisis.

Since 2010 billions of dollars have been spent on childhood fitness, nutrition in schools and communities around the U.S. to combat the childhood obesity epidemic that impacts the quality of life for millions of children then adults in our future. Has much changed in five years? 

Let's compare 2011 vs 2016 childhood obesity data. 

In 2011 - 2012 Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reported the prevelance of childhood obesity was approximately 17% (or 12.7 million) of children and adolescents aged 2—19 years  are obese

Today September 2016 according to the current American Heart Association website in the article Overweight in our Children, 1 in 3 (33%) American kids and teens is overweight or obese. The prevalence of obesity in children more than tripled from 1971 to 2011. 

The American Heart Association goes on to report childhood obesity is now the No. 1 health concern among parents in the United States, topping drug abuse and smoking. 

If you are one of the millions of parents worrying about their child's weight and understand your child being fat and not just "big for their age" requires immediate action. 

What can you do? Education is a good place to start. 

To learn what the appropriate weight is for your child go to the website Kids Health from Nemours it is a great resource for Parents, Kids and Teens.    
  • Discuss with your child your concerns. 
  • Solicit your child in helping you to help them with healthier lifestyle choices. 
  • Teach your child what you learn.
  • Develop a family healthy lifestyle plan.
  • Practice what you preach. 

No agency not even billions of dollars can solve the childhood obesity epidemic. We, you and me sharing what we learn with our children, friends and neighbors along with actions to support healthy lifestyle habits is what needs to happen. If we don't in 6 more years the new childhood obesity rates will very sad. 

Your partner in health, 

Certified Health Coach
Wellness Consultant 

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