Preventing Childhood Obesity & Building a Healthier Future

Author: Activate Allen County

February 21, 2016

Today’s generation is all about quick and convenient, whether it be internet speed or waiting in line at an amusement park. Kids these days do not like to wait long, and a lot of them are always on the go.

This quick and convenient lifestyle is taking a toll on the diets of children. When kids are at home looking for something to snack on, what do you think they’re going to grab? Probably something in a package or box that doesn’t require any preparation, which as most of us know, is most likely the unhealthiest thing in the kitchen.

Unfortunately, because of these bad habits, childhood obesity is becoming a very serious issue.

According to the CDC, childhood obesity has more than doubled in children and quadrupled in adolescents in the past 30 years. Children become obese due to what is called a caloric imbalance, which means they consume more calories than they burn off in a day. So one of two things needs to happen: kids need to start getting more active or kids need to start eating healthier. What would be better would be both!

If kids don’t start taking a healthy lifestyle more seriously, there are a lot of negative consequences they could be dealing with.

Obese youth will experience health effects both now and in the future. An immediate health effect of obese youth is that they are more likely to have risk factors for cardiovascular diseases, such as high cholesterol or high blood pressure. They are also more likely to have prediabetes, bone and joint problems, sleep apnea, and social and psychological problems such as poor self-esteem.

In the long run, children and adolescents who are obese are more at risk for heart disease, type 2 diabetes, stroke, several types of cancer, and osteoarthritis. According to the CDC, a study showed that children who became obese as early as age 2 were more likely to be obese as adults.

Because the effects of obesity can be so detrimental, Activate Allen County is working to get kids more active and more healthy. There are simple ways to reduce the likelihood of childhood obesity. At home, kids need to have healthier snacks available to them and they need to know the difference between healthy and unhealthy snacks. Help your kids find healthy snacks that are quick and convenient for your child to eat so that they don’t get discouraged.

Staying active is another huge part of preventing childhood obesity. There are so many different ways to get a child up and moving. Get your child involved in sports, clubs, or community activities. Anything to get their physical activity in for the day.

Don’t let your child become a statistic. You have the tools to keep your child eating healthy and staying active. Help your child get on the right path to a healthy and happy future! Visit Activate Allen County for more information on how to help combat obesity.