Stopping childhood obesity before it begins
by vflor1 on September 13, 2013 - 3:36pm
One third of adults are affected by obesity in America. Despite the unhealthy eating habits that many think cause this problem, it seems that the lack of exercise is the bigger issue. These adults are raising their children with their own unhealthy habits causing childhood obesity. Seventeen percent of children suffer from obesity. Between the ages of two and five, a child should be exercising for at least two hours a day. An hour of structured physical activity and an hour of unstructured physical activity are required. When someone is obese as a child it is very likely that they will be an obese adult and will then be at risk for many dangerous diseases. Now that we have this information we need to figure out how to take action. A program named Let Me Play is being introduced in many preschools all over the country. The program provides developmental physical activities that can be easily incorporated into the teaching curriculum. Out of the 158 teachers who have tried out the program, 91% of them say they use the program everyday.
With the amount of energy children have it is hard to think that they need to be encouraged to exercise. Then again, with the advancement in technology, it is not a surprise that children would rather play video games and watch television instead of running around outside. I feel strongly that childhood obesity is wrong. There is no reason for a child to be unhealthy and overweight. A good thing about the LMP program is that it not only helps the children become healthier, but their motivation to exercise has increased. Hopefully their newfound enjoyment of exercising will carry over to when these children become adults. More than half the teachers participating in the study also claimed that the program has encouraged them to become more active. The only problem is that all the teachers need to be trained in the program. Everyone involved has to cooperate in order for Let Me Play to be successful. Obesity is a huge issue in America and the way we live needs to start changing before this problem gets even more out of hand. Starting with the new generation is an excellent decision because the children will grow up thinking it is normal to eat healthy and exercise everyday. They will pass these ideas to their own families and this chain of events will lead to a healthier country.
Mazzeo, D., Arens, S., Germeroth, C. & Hein, H. (2012, April). Ebscohost: Stopping childhood obesity before it begins. Kappan Magazine, 93(7), 10-15.