According to the CDC, over the past three decades, childhood obesity rates have tripled in the U.S., and today, the country has some of the highest obesity rates in the world. One out of six children are obese, and one out of three is overweight or obese. Obesity can harm nearly every system in a child’s body-heart and lungs, muscles and bones, kidneys, and digestive tract, as well as the hormones that control blood sugar and puberty. Obesity in childhood can also lead to stigmatization and depression.
The consumption of processed foods with high levels of sugar, trans fat, salt, and sugar-sweetened beverages plays a significant role in childhood obesity. A lack of physical activities, sedentary behavior, and low cardiorespiratory fitness are the main contributors to childhood obesity. But genetic and hormonal factors play a role as well. The CDC recommends one hour of physical activity daily for children and adolescents, including moderate or vigorous physical activity, like running or aerobic exercise.
To help prevent excess gain or maintain a healthy weight, parents can make positive changes in kid’s lives, such as:
Childhood obesity can be prevented. Let’s support and encourage children and adolescents to be physically active every day.