We’ve all heard about the youth obesity epidemic, but sometimes I wonder if people grasp how serious it is.
Now you may say that it’s just baby fat and that they’ll grow out of it, but here are some things you should know:
- 10% of non-obese children become obese adults
- 40%-50% of obese children become obese adults
- 70% of obese adolescents become obese adults
- 80% of obese adolescents become obese adults if one parent is obese
In addition to their weight itself, most obese children have at least one other major cardiovascular risk factor, (i.e. high blood cholesterol, high triglycerides, high insulin or high blood pressure). These risk factors were previously thought of as adult conditions, not ones you’d find in kids. Our children’s generation could be the first generation where the parents live longer than the kids do.
So who’s to blame? In my opinion, we all are. Parents, schools, the community, and society all carry the burden of what’s happening to our kids. We all need to step up and do our part to help overcome it.
What Parents Can Do
I’m a father myself (I have two boys, ages 9 and 11) and as parents, we make choices for our kids every day that influence how they will live their lives. Here are some suggestions for what I believe we, as parents, can do to keep our kids on the right path: