Childhood obesity is becoming a very serious issue and health risk. 1/3 of American children are considered overweight or obese. There is speculation as to why this is happening and theories on how to fix it. Communities are coming together to create healthier eating environments, to teach children about healthy foods and to create healthier food options at schools. Baldwin Park, California is one example. A national group called Healthy Kids Healthy Communities has expanded to this town. They have been able to make salad bars a stable in local schools, 100 minutes of physical education every week a requirement and place labels at groceries to show healthy food choices. After doing this in 5 years over 135 children are no longer overweight.
Experts believe it is becoming a luxury to eat healthy foods. They are more expensive. We all know examples within our local grocery stores buy one example of this in the fast food industry is McDonald’s. It costs less to buy a large value meal including a drink than it does to buy a salad and bottle of water. Many people believe increasing taxes by 1 penny per ounce on sugary foods and drinks would cut the consumption by 10% and raise billions of dollars to fight obesity.
Experts have many opinions on what should be done to fight obesity, but not all are in agreement. The basics are as they always have been, modernized of course.
- Expand the idea of exercise. Take up rollerblading, golfing, swimming, or karate. If you would prefer to stay inside invest in a Wii fit or other game that will raise your heartbeat.
- Make it easy: Plan ahead. Children should exercise approximately 1 hour a day. If they aren’t in after school activities be ready to do some sort of exercise in the evening.
- Make exercise a family affair. Parents are role models. Go outside and play with your kids, turn on your Wii fit and work out, go rollerblading. Do things together.
Watch the following video for more information on childhood obesity.