I will be participating in the LA Big 5K run/walk on Saturday, March 16th to raise awareness and fight the epidemic of childhood obesity in our country. I had the extraordinary privilege of being a part of this amazing group of dedicated men, women and children that came out in the pouring rain last year to run, walk and wheel for a very important and urgent battle cry!
There are some vital statistics that are documented below. But the one shocking fact that always hits me right in my heart when I read it or hear it is that this generation of obese children's life expectancy will be shorter than their parents.
According to the 2010 census data, 34% of the American population is obese. This number has doubled since I became an adult in the early 1980’s. The number of obese children in the United States has tripled in the same time period, with a staggering 17% of children ages 2 to 17 falling into the obese category on the Body Mass Index.
Include the overweight population in the equation, and the situation is even more pressing: 68% of adults and more than 30% of our nation’s youth are either overweight or obese. As obesity numbers increase, so does the prevalence of Type 2 Diabetes and pre-diabetes, devastating conditions that more than one quarter of the nation’s population of now suffers from.
Although the physical effects of obesity are staggering, the repercussions of obesity do not stop there. Weight issues impact every aspect of a person’s life, from social confidence to emotional wellbeing and financial stability to intimacy.
As I celebrate my continued success in maintaining my weight loss and support those on their journey towards creating a healthy lifestyle, I ask that you please join me in the fight to raise awareness and educate our nation’s young people and their families.
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