Obesity is becoming an increasingly alarming problem in the United States, reaching epidemic proportions. Studies are constantly being released presenting the various dangers and risks posed by being extremely overweight, pointing at diabetes, heart disease, and cancer as health problems directly related to weight. What is even scarier is recent research that suggests the benefits of cutting smoking down across the country are largely thwarted by increased obesity rates overall. In other words, even though we are smoking less, we are eating so much more that it does not really matter.
The most alarming sufferers of the obesity epidemic, however, are not non-smoking or formerly smoking adults. Those who stand to lose a lot as a result of obesity are children.
Childhood obesity is perhaps one of the most tragic health issues seen today throughout the United States. And though the government has, in recent years, taken steps to help to combat the problem, it does not seem to be getting better. In fact, in some areas, it is getting worse.
This is why as parents we have a great responsibility to take care of our children. And while “take care” has many connotations, in this day and age, it means paying serious attention to the diets and physical activities of our kids.
The world of technology today renders it very tempting to leave children zoning out in front of a high definition television or playing an online game. Not only does this make it easy to keep track of them, but it also gives us some much-needed alone time. Nevertheless, it is vital that children learn healthy habits, including activity and simple moving around.
Therefore, instead of leaving our children watching sports on satellite TV, we have to get them outside to actually practice them. Your son an NFL Sunday Ticket lover? Buy him a ball, and after the big game on Sunday, toss it around with him outside. Has your daughter fallen in love with figure skating during the winter months? Take her to your local skating rink and sign her up for ice skating lessons.
Physical activities and sports are not only a great way to improve your child’s physical health and combat obesity – they also go a long way in terms of mental and social wellness. Children who play sports learn to work with others. They develop life skills that go far beyond shooting baskets or hitting balls – they learn to work towards goals, receive instruction and practice. Many kids made friends while playing sports, and these are friendships that can last a lifetime.
Therefore, shut off your HD TV for a while and head outside or to the gym. You’ll probably enjoy the physical activity as well!