Thursday, July 30, 2009

Child Obesity is a National Problem

This are some of the facts referred by HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius as she addressed the Weight of the Nation on July 28th.

The average American is 23 pounds overweight. Collectively that sums to 4.6 billion pounds overweight. As of today, two-thirds of adults and one-fifth of American children are either overweight or obese. Type 2 diabetes is no longer refer to as "adult onset" because it is being diagnosed more and more in children. This all leads to a direct medical cost for obesity of approximately $147 billion annually, exceeding the cost of cancer care by more than $50 billion.

The worst of it is that most could be prevented. Secretary Sebelius made mentioned of a study that list 24 simple strategies that could be used to prevent obesity in America. From this study:

  • increase availability of healthy foods and beverages.
  • more grocery stores in under served areas
  • promote physical activity
  • limit sedentary behavior in our children
  • expand school's physical education
  • encourage breast feeding

We know we have a big problem. We need to take better care of ourselves by taking control of our eating habits and food choices. Prevention starts in our kitchen. I truly believe that as a nation we are health conscious, however, we are convenience driven. Certain major players in the food industry figured this out long ago and made unhealthy, cheap, processed food very convenient for us. In order to change this trend, we need to make a conscious effort to seek better, healthier foods and ingredients for our meals.

We may actually witness a future in which children end with a shorter lifespan than their parents because of their parents' and their personal choices of nourishment. Don't let this happen. Do that minuet change that you will be able to maintain and which will have a tremendous health benefit in your life and that of your love ones.