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Protecting our Future:
15 Ways to Combat America’s Childhood Obesity Epidemic
The Epidemic
• Childhood obesity is a modern epidemic that has more than
doubled over the past 30 years.
– In 1980, nearly...
Psychosocial Risks
• Obese children are victims of social discrimination, bias,
and negative stigmas.
• A University of Mi...
Heart Disease Risks
• Obese kids show several risk factors for cardiovascular
disease, including:
– High blood pressure
– ...
Other Health Risks
• Asthma: Blocked or narrowed airways, causing difficulty
breathing and participating in physical activ...
Kids who are obese are more likely to be obese when they grow up,
making them more susceptible to adult health problems.
Problem: Unhealthy eating at
home
• Thanks to the convenience of prepacked foods and fast food joints,
more kids are eatin...
Problem: Unhealthy eating at Solutions
school
• Increase access to free, clean drinking water
while limiting sales of soda...
Problem: Sedentary lifestyle
• With the growth of computers,
video games, and TVs, kids are
spending more time glued to
sc...
Problem: Cuts to physical
education
• According to the National
Association for Sport and Physical
Education, the average ...
A Problem with our Environment
• Many of the problems causing childhood obesity are a part
of the environment our kids are...
Leading by Example
Along with local and
nationwide initiatives, parents
and guardians can help by
raising kids to know the...
Sources
• Articles
– http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2013-09-17/the-practical-wayto-fight-childhood-obesity.html
– http://ww...
Sources
• Images
–
–
–
–

“Lunch Break” by Leon Fishman is licensed under CC BY 2.0
“A Matched Set” by Tobyotter is licens...
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Protecting Our Future: 15 Ways to Combat America's Childhood Obesity Epidemic

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In his Bloomberg View column, economist Peter Orszag highlighted practical solutions to childhood obesity, which remains one of the greatest epidemics in our nation. In this slideshow, you can learn a little more about these initiatives and gain a better understanding of the epidemic and what you can do as a parent, teacher, or community member to combat it.

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Protecting Our Future: 15 Ways to Combat America's Childhood Obesity Epidemic

  1. 1. Protecting our Future: 15 Ways to Combat America’s Childhood Obesity Epidemic
  2. 2. The Epidemic • Childhood obesity is a modern epidemic that has more than doubled over the past 30 years. – In 1980, nearly 7% of kids aged 6-11 was obese. – Today, nearly 18% of children in the United States is obese. – About 1 in 3 kids and adolescents in the U.S. is overweight or obese. • While there have been slight declines in recent years, childhood obesity numbers remain high. • Childhood obesity gives way to a wide range of issues and increased health risks.
  3. 3. Psychosocial Risks • Obese children are victims of social discrimination, bias, and negative stigmas. • A University of Michigan study found that obese children are 1.6 times more likely to be bullied. • Social stigmas can lead to low self-esteem, leading to problems in academic and social settings.
  4. 4. Heart Disease Risks • Obese kids show several risk factors for cardiovascular disease, including: – High blood pressure – Irregular glucose tolerance – High cholesterol • In a sample, nearly 60% of overweight kids had at least one risk factor for heart disease. Almost 25% of that same sample had two or more risk factors.
  5. 5. Other Health Risks • Asthma: Blocked or narrowed airways, causing difficulty breathing and participating in physical activties. • Type 2 diabetes: High blood sugar caused by a glucose intolerance. Type 2 diabetes can lead to kidney failure and cardiovascular diseases. • Cancer: Obesity has been linked to several forms of cancer including cancer of the kidney, thyroid, esophagus, and rectum.
  6. 6. Kids who are obese are more likely to be obese when they grow up, making them more susceptible to adult health problems.
  7. 7. Problem: Unhealthy eating at home • Thanks to the convenience of prepacked foods and fast food joints, more kids are eating processed foods filled with sugar, salt, and excess calories. Solutions • Prepare healthier family meals packed with: – Fruits and veggies – Lean protein (fish, poultry, beans) – Whole grains • Limit consumption of foods that are high in saturated fat and added sugar. • Throw out sugary, salty snacks and other temptations that are rich in empty calories. • Replace sodas, juices from concentrate, and other sugary drinks with water, milk, and fresh-squeezed juice. • Serve smaller portions.
  8. 8. Problem: Unhealthy eating at Solutions school • Increase access to free, clean drinking water while limiting sales of sodas and sugary beverages. • Although schools on the local level have been making changes to • Push for quality school meal programs that: nutrition policies, there must be a – Promote access to school meals. greater, nationwide push for – Provide meals that are both nutritious and healthier school meals. appealing to kids. For example, an organization called Child Obesity 180 has pushed for the Breakfast Initiative, which aims to provide schools with delicious but nutritious breakfasts. – Ensure that all foods and beverages served outside of the program—like in vending machines—are healthy and delicious. Child Obesity 180’s Restaurant Initiative looks to increase healthy menu options on restaurant menus. • Promote thorough, in-depth nutrition education to teach kids what they’re eating and how those foods affect them.
  9. 9. Problem: Sedentary lifestyle • With the growth of computers, video games, and TVs, kids are spending more time glued to screens indoors instead of staying active. Kids and teens should partake in 60 minutes of physical activity at least 5 days a week. Solutions • Lead by example. Kids imitate adults and are more likely to stay active when their parents are active as well. • Limit sedentary time. Kids should spend no more than two hours a day watching TV, playing video games, or surfing the Internet. • Encourage kids to find activities that involve more movement and motion. • Push for initiatives that aim to create and maintain safe public spaces for physical activity, like parks and playgrounds.
  10. 10. Problem: Cuts to physical education • According to the National Association for Sport and Physical Education, the average budget for PE programs in the U.S. is just $764 a year, leading to a lack of proper equipment and an inability to hire knowledgeable staff. Solutions • Promote better funding for school PE programs. • Support daily physical education within classrooms, not just during PE class. • Push for afterschool programs that encourage activity.
  11. 11. A Problem with our Environment • Many of the problems causing childhood obesity are a part of the environment our kids are growing up in. • Making a significant impact on childhood obesity requires communitywide participation, from improved physical education to providing grocery stores with incentives for selling healthier foods.
  12. 12. Leading by Example Along with local and nationwide initiatives, parents and guardians can help by raising kids to know the importance of a healthy lifestyle that includes physical activity and wholesome foods.
  13. 13. Sources • Articles – http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2013-09-17/the-practical-wayto-fight-childhood-obesity.html – http://www.cdc.gov/obesity/childhood/solutions.html – http://www.cdc.gov/healthyyouth/obesity/facts.htm – http://www.heart.org/HEARTORG/GettingHealthy/WeightManag ement/Obesity/Overweight-in-Children_UCM_304054_Article.jsp – http://www.medscape.com/viewarticle/721233 – http://www.cancer.gov/cancertopics/factsheet/Risk/obesity – http://www.cdc.gov/healthyyouth/npao/nutritionservices.htm
  14. 14. Sources • Images – – – – “Lunch Break” by Leon Fishman is licensed under CC BY 2.0 “A Matched Set” by Tobyotter is licensed under CC BY 2.0 “Apple” by Tdring is licensed under CC BY 2.0 “Two kids play on the football field at Golden Gate Park _K8P0892” by mikebaird is licensed under CC BY 2.0 – “Sports Volunteering Scheme” by University of Exeter is licensed under CC BY 2.0 – “PlanetBox school lunch - square animal face sandwiches, cucumber slices, apple slices, organic gummy bears, puzzle piece crackers” by anotherlunch.com is licensed under CC BY 2.0

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