Trends in childhood obesity continue to increase every year. And if you think that it is only singling out one gender you’re wrong. The obesity epidemic is affecting both girls and boys and is occurring in all race and ethnic groups in the United States. And one of the worst parts about it is that obese children are more likely to stay obese into their adult years which can create even more serious health problems. Here are some childhood obesity facts and stats as well as what we can do to help prevent the problem from escalating any further.
Childhood obesity facts and stats
· Over the past three decades the childhood obesity rate has almost tripled for preschool children (2-5 yrs), adolescents (12-19), and children ages 6-11.
· There are nine million children over the age of six years that currently fall into the obese category.
· Statistics have shown that obese children have a 70% greater chance of being obese when they are adults. That percentage increases to 80% if both the parents of the child are obese.
High-fat snacking is the new trend.
· According to a report done by the CDC in 2004 16% of children between the ages of 6 and 11 were overweight and 15% of children were at risk for becoming obese. This constituted over 9 million children in the United States.
· Between 1979 and 1981, hospital and health care costs for children were around 35 million dollars a year. During the years 1989 and 1991 those costs rose to a whopping 127 million dollars a year.
· Type II diabetes has risen in children from 4% in the early 1990s to between 8% and 45%.
· The risk factor for heart disease in children has also risen to nearly 60% for children between the ages of five and ten.
· Obese children are also at a risk for other diseases such as high cholesterol, high blood pressure, and high triglycerides. These are generally diseases that are found in the elderly, not young active children.
So what can we do about it?
Well, there are several different ways to look at this situation. Some have chosen to ignore it thinking that the child will simply outgrow it and will be able to live a healthy, normal life. While we know from the facts that obese children are not likely to “outgrow” it. Others have chosen to take it head on and tackle the source of it. Here are some ideas and things we as a society and individuals can do to help stop the obesity epidemic.
Eat less and move more
We are a lazy and busy society that has left physical exercise on the back burner so to speak. The problem with this is that our children are suffering for our mistakes. They don’t see exercise as a priority, or even a necessity. We eat out too much, eat large portion sizes, and drive everywhere. We need to teach out children proper portion sizes and show them that there are other ways to get around besides using the car. Go for a walk, take a bus, or ride your bike. Eat less and move more.
A well balanced diet can increase your life span
Eating less is a good idea, but eating a healthy well balanced diet is even more important. Children need to have their “Five a Day” requirements of fruits and vegetables. They need to learn to like them so eventually when they’re off on their own they will choose the healthy diet over McDonalds. Improving your diet can actually increase how long you live so don’t underestimate the value of a good home cooked meal.
See a doctor
Sometimes childhood obesity is out of our control and seeing a doctor is the best thing you can do for your child. They will be able to give suggestions, and run some tests to see if there is something genetic going on. The doctor is there for you and your child to help get you through this rough time.
We can’t deny that it’s a problem anymore; childhood obesity facts and stats are proving time and again that children are overeating, not exercising enough, and becoming too dependent on high-fat food. It is a growing epidemic that needs to be stopped.