One of the most overwhelming problems facing children worldwide is the problem of obesity and its resulting health problems. In fact, childhood obesity and health is so important that it's warranted cover stories for both Time and Newsweek magazines. The problem is multi-faceted and covers such subjects as the fast food industry, the adding of enzymes, steroids and other non-natural ingredients to foods such as milk, and the placement of vending machines in schools, movie theaters and malls. Childhood obesity and health is now dominating conversations within the World Health Organization, the US Department of Health & Human Services, and the Centers for Disease Control.
Statistics Don't Lie
Statistics gathered through clinical studies and trials show the following:
Over the past 30 years, the number of overweight children throughout the world has doubled.
In the United States, over 30% of the children studied (ages 6-19) are considered overweight. Of those, 15% are listed as obese.
Numerous health issues surface in obese and overweight children, including high blood pressure and diabetes. These conditions are often treated with specific medications which previously had only been known to adults.
Studies show that individuals who are considered overweight as children will, most likely, face obesity as adults.
What Can Be Done?
The first factor must be to understand childhood obesity and how it relates to a healthy lifetime. Besides controlling diet through programs such as Weight Watchers or the Atkins Plan, children must make a commitment to "eating smart." Obese children must also adopt a plan that eliminates high carbohydrate refined foods from their diet, and must commit to a regular exercise regimen. In addition, psychological factors should be addressed.