In recent years, childhood obesity rates in the US have grown exponentially. Today, nearly one in three children in America are overweight or obese.
Whats causing this increase? Obesity is caused by a mix of genetic, biological, behavioral, and cultural factors, but most of today's obesity issues are a result of the unealthy behavioral patterns that have become common in society over the past few decades. The average American is eating 31% more calories than we were 40 years ago, including 56% more fats and oils, and 14% more sugars and sweeteners. Most adolescents spend an average of 7.5 hours a day using entertainment media including TV, computers, video games, cell phones, and movies. Only one-third of high school students get the recommended levels of physical activity. These are behavior patterns that when started at an early age can be difficult to change. Studies have shown that a child who is obese between the ages of 10 and 13 has an 80 percent chance of becoming an obese adult.
There are many health dangers associated with childhood and chronic obesity: low self-esteem, depression, increased risk of type II diabetes, increased risk of high blood pressure, sleep disorders, hypertension, and increased risk of heart disease and stroke. Medical costs associated are skyrocketing.One in ten dollars spent on health care is attributable to diabetes and its complications. In addition to the $116 billion + in excess medical expenditures, the loss to the nation in economic productivity is $58 billion.
Recent reports released by the CDC revealed that one in three children born in the US in the year 2000 will go on to develop type II diabetes at some point in their lives. Its important that we start promoting healthy behavior in children during their earliest years to ensure a healthy future and a healthy society.
Committed 2 Community supports community initiatives that take action to promote nutrition education, healthy eating, and physical activity in our community youth. Please join us in our efforts to fight childhood obesity by joining Team Preventing Childhood Obesity through C2C.