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Friday, June 8, 2007

Kids are Phat

There are some incredible statistics out there today regarding child obesity and most of us are aware of them. In case you missed that it is a rising problem in America's society today... According to WEBMD.COM

*Among kids 2-5 years old, 12% are at risk of being overweight (in the 85th weight percentile for their sex and age) and 14% are already overweight (in the 95th percentile).
*Among kids 6-11 years old, 18% are at risk of being overweight and 19% are overweight.
*Among kids 12-19 years old, 17% are at risk of being overweight and 17% are overweight.
(All these numbers are up from the 1999-2000 time period. For example, the overall rate of overweight for kids 2-19 years old went up from 14% to 17%.)- WebMD.com.

These stats are from 7 years ago, and I apologize for that. Guaranteed that most of these kids in the age groups above have lived out these predictions and have become fat adults. I, myself, was a chubby adolescent. And, not for any reason except for we ate out a lot as a family. I was always athletic and played on every sports team and goofed off with the neighborhood kids after school. I just ate crappy. Had I not been athletic and active, I would have been much fatter, and at higher risk for health issues, such as Type I/II Diabetes.

Some other countries are doing something about this rising phenomenon of fat kids. China, for instance, is instituting MANDATORY DANCE lessons, 5 days/week, in their primary and secondary kids for their '07-'08 school year. In the USA, many schools don't even require kids to participate in P.E. classes everyday. Only twice a week. That is not nearly enough.

So, I was wondering, at a micro-level, what a "kid" would think to do if they wanted to become more active and healthy. So, I asked a local 15-year old, Alexandra, what she would recommend as far as these activities. It took her 5 minutes to list 5 ways in which to become more active. Here they are:

1. Since it is summertime, have a pool party and invite your friends over for some play time in and around the pool.
2. Take a bike ride to the park with your brother or sister and then play Frisbee once you are there.
3. Jump on the trampoline if you have one- it is fun and you don't even know that you are getting a workout.
4. Walk your pet around the block- just by playing with them for 30 minutes, you are getting more activity then by sitting in front of the TV watching some reality show for that same time period.
5. Rollerblade on your local bike path.

Great job, Alex. These activities are free and all it takes is time and effort to get yourself to do them. Adults can heed to this advice as well. I am seriously concerned for kids out there today and if the parents are not encouraging this active lifestyle behavior, they are not going to get healthier. Also, for you as a parent, be a good role model and watch your lifestyle as well- your kids learn the most from you.

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Clancy, Mike and I

Clancy, Mike and I
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