Perhaps it is because Michelle Obama made obesity her ‘issue’ during her term as First Lady or maybe obesity has become such a large problem among the children of America that we can no longer ignore the vast number of children that are suffering not only from obesity but from a myriad of health problems that stem from childhood obesity. The problem has grown so large that many experts believe childhood obesity is the single greatest health issue facing our children in 2011.
It isn’t just the added weight. Obesity causes a number of health issues as well as self-esteem and confidence issues. Children who are severely overweight are faced with several very scary healthy risks.
- Sleep Apnea
- Exercise intolerance
- Joint Problems
- Bone Problems
- High Blood Pressure
- High Cholesterol
Obviously, these problems are not minor. In fact, many are actually life threatening. When these serious medical issues are added to the growing problem of low self-esteem and poor confidence, it becomes apparent that America’s obese children are truly suffering.
Treatment of childhood obesity begins at home. Parents must be willing to insist that their children begin making healthier food choices. Removing the temptation of high calorie, low nutritional value junk food is a good step, but it is equally important to educate our children on proper nutrition.
It doesn’t end with better eating habits. Children must also be encouraged to get out and move. “Play 60,” sponsored by the NFL is a great motivational program to help parents get kids outside and moving for sixty minutes a day. This doesn’t have to be an hour long work out session; it just means that the kids are moving.
We can win the battle against childhood obesity, but only if parents, educators and medical professionals are willing to work together to tackle this potentially deadly disease. It’s time to stop letting childhood obesity win. It’s time to take proactive measures to protect our children from this disease.