Childhood…Obesity…It’s Everyone’s Fight!

August 13th, 2012 | By Gary No Comments

In 2010, Presidential and Congressional proclamations established September as National Childhood Obesity Awareness Month. Now every September across the country, organizations of all types sponsor events to raise awareness of the causes and consequences of childhood obesity and to promote solutions. MOVE is one of these organizations and we are committed to supporting this initiative not just in September but throughout the entire year. Our desire to reduce obesity rates and raise a healthier generation is one the key reasons we started MOVE and here is why.

In the past four decades, obesity rates in the United States have soared among all age groups. This rise in obesity rates has affected our youth in alarming fashion. Childhood obesity has increased more than fourfold among those ages 6 to 11. More than 23 million children and teenagers in the United States ages 2 to 19 are obese or overweight, a statistic that health and medical experts consider an epidemic. And this epidemic puts nearly one third of America’s children at early risk for Type 2 diabetes, high blood pressure, heart disease and even stroke – conditions usually associated with adulthood. Even greater disparities exist among young Hispanics and children of color.

Obese young people have an 80-percent chance of becoming obese adults. As a result, they are more at risk for associated adult health problems such as heart disease, type 2 diabetes, sleep apnea, stroke, several types of cancer and osteoarthritis.
The financial implications add up to a sobering $14 billion per year in direct health care costs alone. On average Americans spend approximately nine percent of their total medical costs on obesity related illnesses which affects everyone even if they are not obese. Additionally, there are serious psychosocial consequences from being obese that can hinder academic and social functioning that often persist into adulthood.

These severe consequences underscore the critical importance of children and teens to participate in physical activity and to engage in healthy eating habits. Childhood obesity is entirely preventable, but kids need our help. It’s up to adults to encourage these healthy habits. Not just parents, but teachers, doctors, religious leaders, grandparents and other relatives and friends.
We hope you will use MOVE as a resource to help guide and inform you as together we work to change the course of the obesity epidemic and raise a healthier generation. Our team and Advisory Council at Athens MOVE will continue to provide information, ideas, suggestions, inspiring examples and resources to help you along the way. Check out our website www.AthensMOVE.com for other articles. There you will also find our community calendar that lists lots of events and registration dates. Make sure you also like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter to get regular updates, information and reminders. If you would like to take a more active role in MOVE, send us an email at info@athensmove.com and we find a way that you can help. Most importantly, make sure you MOVE.

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