Let's Talk Childhood Health
National Childhood Obesity Awareness Month
Childhood obesity rates have tripled over the past 30 years. Serving sizes have gone up as physical activity has gone down. But now we are aware. People are talking.
If you are new to the conversation, here's the quick and dirty: Childhood obesity is the result of an imbalance of energy - consuming an amount of calories that is greater than the amount of calories burned. These extra calories turn into extra weight a child has to carry around.
But it's not about weight. It's about the present and future health problems that come with extra weight. Extra weight puts kids at higher risk for heart disease, stroke, and type 2 diabetes, which up until recently was considered an "adult" illness.
We're aware now. Twenty-three million kids and teens are overweight or obese. If we don't act now, today, this month, this year, we could raise the first generation of kids that live shorter, sicker lives than their parents.
Health in School
Not Just a Class, a Lifestyle
Fifty-five million kids are enrolled in schools around our nation. And these millions of kids are going to graduate from our schools with certain habits. It's up to us to make sure they are good habits.
Kids spend about 1,100 hours in school every year. A majority of that time is spent sitting and that majority is growing as physical education and recess lose their footing in the school day. With kids needing 60 minutes of physical activity a day, we can learn to work movement into the school day
and not out of it.
A child consumes up to 50% of their daily calories at school. As a nation, we have the power to make sure that the items that fill lunch trays and fall from vending machines are healthy. More nutritious foods on campus
means the healthy choice is the easy choice, the convenient choice, the choice our students will start to make on their own.