Raise a Healthy Child and Prevent the Concerning Obesity Trends
New Alarming Predictions that 75% of Americans will be Overweight or Obese in 8 Years
By: Kirsti A. Dyer on: Sun 22 of Jul, 2007 [06:00 UTC] (6236 reads)
Obesity is rapidly becoming the leading cause of preventable death in the United States. Recent statics indicating that 3 out of 4 Americans will be obese by 2015 are alarming to me as a physician who has seen the impact of obesity, diabetes and heart disease on patients.
These trends are concerning to me as a mother of two young daughters because my daughters will be young teenagers by 2015. This is a mere 8 years away. Plus I want to be one of the 1 in 4, or the 25 %. who are not in the overweight category.
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A recent study published in Epidemiologic Reviews indicated some alarming potential trends. Researchers at the Center for Human Nutrition at The Johns Hopkins University predict that if Americans keep gaining weight at their current rate that by 2015, 34 % of people will be overweight and 41 % of people will be obese with for a total of 75 % being either overweight or obese.
Obesity is rapidly becoming the leading cause of preventable death in the United States. Recent studies have demonstrated the current rate of overweight or obese Americans was 66% in 2004.
Growing Obesity Trends in Children
These statistics aren't just impacting adults. Recent statics show that 16 - 17 % of children and adolescents are overweight or obese.
In one of my favorite quotes by Former President Clinton that helps to bring the issue of childhood obesity:
'For the first time in American history, our current generation of children could live shorter lives than their parents.
The cause is obesity, defined simply as too much body fat, which can lead to heart disease, diabetes and other illnesses.'
These trends are concerning to me because my daughters will be young teenagers by 2015 and I do want to be one of the 1 in 4 who are not in the overweight category.
What can you do about these concerning trends?
Several simple things you can do to prevent yourself and your children from joining this group.
- Watch what you eat. Make healthy, nutrient dense food choices.
- Be active, at least 30 - 60 minutes each day. (More if you need to lose weight. Children need at least 60 minutes of activity each day)
These two things can do a lot to help you and your children from joining these alarming statistics.
Make Healthy Food Choices
You can check out Type-A Mom's Healthy Food index for a good selection of healthy recipe ideas. You visit the American Heart Association site for the Top Ten Ways to Help Children Develop Healthy Habits and can check out some additional healthy kid tested recipes and order the Book Healthy Recipes Kids Love.
You can also help your child learn to be healthy through a variety of games and activities at the Learn to Be Healthy website or download Tips for Families from the MyPyramid.gov website for kids.
The Healthy Dining Finder helps you to locate restaurants that serve "better for you" choices. They include all kinds of restaurants – from fast food to fine dining, from one-unit independents to large chains. While it would be great if they were able to identify the restaurants that specialize in “healthier” the site includes restaurant options that meet certain nutritional criteria. It's not a perfect option (yet) but it's a start.
Get Your Family More Active
You can get more information from the Alliance for a Healthier Generation and the MyPyramid.gov website on resources to help keep your children healthy. While at the Alliance for a Healthier Generation site, join your kids and take the pledge to "Go Healthy."
Photo Source: João de Freitas. Woman at the Beach. Royalty Free Use.
About the Author
Kirsti A. Dyer MD, MS, FT is a respected physician, an expert in life challenges, loss, grief and bereavement, professional health educator, professor, lecturer, writer and author. Dr. Dyer teaches College Students how to live healthier lives in her Nutrition & Wellness Course.
She is slowly working off the extra weight she gained while pregnant through watching what she eats and increasing her activity level.