Staring into the face of childhood obesity

July 27, 2010

You stare at your kids every day.  You admire them.  You love them.  You’d die for them.  Would you fight obesity for them?  We see it every day, everywhere we look.  It’s unavoidable.  And yet most of us don’t recognize it in our own children.  At least that’s what one study of parents of preschool-age children shows us.

We all know it’s a problem, but it’s just not “our” problem.  Our kids are healthy.  Our kids might look a little “chubby”, but hey, they’re still growing.  After all, they’re only 3 and 5 years old, they’ll grow into their bodies.  Our kids look like we do; it’s just genetics.  Unfortunately, it is our problem.  It’s my problem, it’s your problem, it’s every one’s problem.  One of three preschool children is already overweight or obese, and even more are at risk of becoming that way.  If you are the parent of young children or you teach or care for young children, most of you stare at childhood obesity every single day.  Did you ever think about it that way?  If so, what are you doing to fight childhood obesity where you are?  I train teachers to add physical activity into what they’re doing in their classrooms and after school, for one.  Have you ever been a part of a community-based intervention?  One study says this type of intervention works better in children younger than 5 than it does for older kids and teens.  We work with a lot of elementary schools nation-wide and I can tell your from experience, this kind of intervention is key for the kids because of the links to parents, community, businesses, etc.  I’m curious though, if you really look at obesity in the kids you live with, work with, and play with every day.  What does obesity look like to you?  What are you doing to combat its effects?


2 Responses to “Staring into the face of childhood obesity”

  1. Sarah Says:

    Like you say, influencing kids when they are young is so much more effective! I am afraid that in the U.S. we see so many obese adults and kids, that we become immune to noticing that it shouldn’t be that way! We become “used” to it. How do we get adults/parents to notice? Does Healthy Kids Challenge have some tools or programs that can help?

  2. Sure we do! It depends on your needs, so if you are basically wanting to help raise awareness, you could choose from our free downloads at Go to the Healthy6 tab. Or, if you want to provide some training, we tailor it to your specific needs for teachers, wellness leaders, or youth leaders. Email me if you’re interested. We also offer low-cost toolkits and idea booklets – on sale through August 31st – check ’em out in the Healthy Kids Challenge Online Store. Hope this helps, but if you need something different, let me know. Are there other ways you want to reach adults and/or parents?

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