Fighting Adult Obesity Helps Fight Childhood Obesity

August 9, 2010

You’ve probably seen those graphics of the U.S. with different shades of blue based on the percentage of overweight and obesity in each state. Want to see the newest one? It’s not blue anymore! Click here to go to the new CDC Vital Signs site. What color is your state?

Mine is orange. So what does that mean? Well this map represents the prevalence of ADULT obesity in the United States based on the most recent BRFFS data. It’s downright alarming if you ask me. I asked you about staring into the face of childhood obesity a couple of weeks ago. Specifically I asked if you recognize obesity in your own children or the children you lead every day. Now I’m asking YOU, the adult, the leader, the role model, to ask yourself this very same question. Yes, I’m serious.

Do you stare into the face of adult obesity every day?

Childhood obesity and adult obesity are linked. Just last week in the Lancet a study suggested pregnant women who gain too much weight may raise the child’s obesity risk. Another study, highlighted by NPR’s Patti Neighmond, looked at what happens to people who’ve been overweight since they were teenagers. It suggests that adults who’ve been obese since childhood have not only negative health consequences, but significant social and economic consequences. Listen here. And I don’t need to cite a study to tell you it’s a fact that children pay very close attention to your actions, much more so than your words. We all should be more mindful of our behaviors and actions in all aspects of life because our children learn so much by just watching us.

If you’ve answered the first question, now consider this: The children in your life observe your eating and activity habits, however healthy or unhealthy they may be, every day. What are you doing to fight adult or childhood obesity today?

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2 Responses to “Fighting Adult Obesity Helps Fight Childhood Obesity”

  1. Julie Says:

    In the U.S., we tend to focus on the individual. As long as I don’t hurt anyone else, I should be able to do what I want. However, regarding the obesity issue, it seems that what we do does impact others. Families and communities need more support for healthy living than ever. What simple activities or ideas would you suggest for a small community to help it’s families with healthy eating and physical activity?


    • Good point. To start with, you are right on target when you ask about what’s simple. Look at what already exists in your community first. Do you have a school or community health fair? dances? other events that happen regularly? Try to build on what exists by enhancing it with nutrition or physical activity. HKC does have an event guide titled Dance for Health, which also helps you host a healthy fundraiser! Check it out, and other ideas and handouts, at http://www.healthykidschallenge.com.


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