By Iris Santana –
Obesity among the young is increasing rapidly. Kids are having health problems at an earlier age each year. The food that is served at school is sometimes blamed. While some of it is fattening, like fries and cookies, healthy options are available.
But kids don’t always make the right choices.
Many kids are picking up unhealthy habits thanks to what they are exposed to at school. According to recent health studies, four percent of children were overweight in 1982. By 1994, it rose to 16 percent. Today, the American Medical Association claims up to 32 percent of children are overweight or obese.
In a study that analyzed children’s eating habits over two decades (1973-1994), there was a marked increase in the incidence of missed breakfast, increased numbers of eating dinner outside of the home and increased snacking during the day.
To teach kids how to eat healthy and stay fit, there needs to be more programs to work with them individually.
“If we’re really looking at programs shown to address obesity (in young children), there are none out there,” claimed James O. Hill, director of the Center for Human Nutrition and the Colorado Nutrition Obesity Research Center.
If the increase of obesity in children isn’t controlled, many kids will be at risk for diabetes, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, asthma, arthritis and general poor health status when they are adults. According to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention, 25 percent of obese adults were overweight as children.
Some schools have “check ups.” They then send a letter home with the child’s results. In the letter it may state whether the child is obese for his or her age. Many of them are.
More encouraging programs, such as fun days, relay races at school and fun activities that also give kids their daily exercise would motivate kids to be more active and become more healthy, giving them a brighter and less stressful future.