Obesity Crisis

fatkidDuring my trips, and specially this week I have heard tales that concerns me.

I actually have seen medical records that if it wasn’t me looking at them I wouldn’t believe them. I’m talking about kids who weight more than double the recommended weight for their age.

I’m looking at 11 year old girl records with weights in excess of 160lbs.

I’m talking about twins who reached a pivotal age in their life and based on their decisions one if healthy and the other is an insulin dependent diabetic.

The worst thing about it is that in most cases the problem is based on choices and not actual genetic or medical conditions. Children overall need 60 minutes of play with moderate to vigorous activity every day, yet few of our children are meeting this recommended guideline.

October is Children’s Health Month which seems an appropriate time to address these concerns. What are we doing and how can we help.

Well let’s start with the basics: Humans are social animals; hence group activities are usually more successful than exercising alone. So why not join a team or even better, consider an activity that the whole family can do and get to it.

While I already mentioned the time frame of an hour, this doesn’t necessarily mean one straight hour. You may want to consider 15 to 30 minute activities as a start.

Children may surprise you. Give them a ball or a balloon and you may find them playing for times to no end. Other suggestions that I found at “Let’s Move” web site (http://www.letsmove.gov/active-families) include:

  • Make a new house rule: no sitting still during television commercials.
  • Find time to spend together doing a fun activity: family park day, swim day or bike day.
  • Issue a family challenge to see who can be the first to achieve a Presidential Active Lifestyle Award by committing to physical activity five days a week, for six weeks.

Adults and children can both receive the award! I will truly love to see you and your loved ones at my school but even if our programs are not for you be active and stay healthy.