I’m talking about overweight children, kids, and teens and the effects this has on their entire lives. This is a touchy subject because noticing a child’s body shape is seen as non- PC. Well for those of you who know me you know that I don’t really follow PC policy because life isn’t PC.
A child’s weight is clearly up to the parents. I know that this will offend some parents in the crowd but too bad. We cannot watch life through denial goggles. America’s child obesity rate has skyrocketed. In the last thirty years our children’s obesity rate has gone up by 30%!!!!! We all know that there has been cutbacks in schools for exercise programs which is a whole other ball of wax but even so, it is a cop out because we, the parents, are in charge of what they are eating for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. We are also in charge of turning off the video games and need to lead by example about what exercise is all about and that it is fun and necessary. Is it hard? Hell yes it’s hard but when we see a happy, energetic, healthy child because of that hard work, it should all become worth it.
Here are some of the side affects that afflict our children from our bad food choices in the home; (taken from the CDC website)
*Obese youth are more likely to have risk factors for cardiovascular disease, such as high cholesterol or high blood pressure. In a population-based sample of 5- to 17-year-olds, 70% of obese youth had at least one risk factor for cardiovascular disease.
*Children and adolescents who are obese are at greater risk for bone and joint problems, sleep apnea, and social and psychological problems such as stigmatization and poor self-esteem.
*Obese youth are more likely than youth of normal weight to become overweight or obese adults, and therefore more at risk for associated adult health problems, including heart disease, type 2 diabetes, stroke, several types of cancer, and osteoarthritis.
(What a little sweetie!)
These are all really hard things to deal with as adults let alone being a child having to deal with all this. These are medial reasons but what about things like other cruel kids making fun of overweight kids, confidence of our children to do sports if they are interested in them, confidence in finding a boyfriend/girlfriend in those confusing tough years, changing in locker rooms, looking at teen magazines, watching movies full of size 0 models. I don’t think anyone should feel bad about not being a size zero but kids are so impressionable that it is tough to explain to them that those people aren’t the norm because it is all they are hammered with in marketing.
We cannot ignore the problem anymore, we here at the gym can be great role models for our community and in your personal sphere of influence. I an so impressed by some of the mom’s I am surrounded by that I feel lucky to have such awesome resources at my disposal when I have kid/health related questions. Talk with Sarah Fragoso from Everyday Paleo, talk with trainer Chrissy Gower from Growing up Paleo, Becka Robertson a new mom feeding little Claire paleo, Amiee Risen, or Katie Stueber. All of these moms are great at what they do, don’t be shy!