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Childhood obesity in America has soared in recent years and is a matter of great concern to both parents and healthcare professionals. An increasing number of children are not just seriously overweight but are quite obese, and a worrying part of the problem is the incidence of very young children being affected as well. Toddlers who become obese should be a matter of grave concern for all of us.
The status of childhood obesity in America is that of a national health crisis. Serious overweight and obesity is associated with so many medical conditions and disorders, that the general health of a whole generation could be seriously undermined.
Arthritis, asthma, cancers (some), chronic joint pain, diabetes, heart disease, infertility, respiratory complaints and sleep apnea are some of the illnesses involved.
We are not looking at conditions that are merely dangerous; they are life threatening for many. There have been instances of people in their twenties dying from obesity related conditions.
Serious overweight can look unsightly but obesity in children is one matter that goes far beyond a child’s appearance. Parents should be more concerned with the general health of their offspring rather than how good they can look.
They need to make changes to the lifestyle of their overweight children, if they are to have a serious chance of improving their long term health and wellbeing.
One problem we have is an over abundance of food. Fast food is available everywhere, even in schools. But it is not just the easy availability of low nutrition / high calorie junk food that is to blame. It is the lack of regular physical exercise needed to burn off those excess calories in our daily lives.
We have become a nation of couch potatoes, sitting around watching TV, playing computer and video games. Many of us don’t get enough exercise. The extra calories are not getting burned off by physical activities, and the body loads up with excess fat. Children mimic their parents, so they eat the wrong type of food in many cases, and don’t exercise either.
Concerned parents should take steps to introduce positive change in their children’s lives, both in their diet at home, and with involvement in physical activities that will exercise their bodies.
Childhood obesity in America doesn’t have to be a statistic that your children are a part of. Set a good example and show your child a better way forward.