Here are a few startling statistics:
Nearly 40% of American adults, and 20% of adolescents are obese.
A CDC report concluded that about 71% of Americans are either overweight or obese.
If nothing is done to address this now, more children will be obese than underweight by 2022.
The frightening and perhaps surprising thing is that even though many children are obese they are also malnourished! The same holds true for obese adults. Calories are not the same thing as nutrients! Not only does the excess weight cause a health problem in itself but these children are more vulnerable to getting sick because their immune systems are not strong enough to fight off infectious diseases because they are lacking in essential nutrients.
Overweight and obese children are also more likely to develop:
High blood pressure and high cholesterol
Insulin resistance and type 2 diabetes
Asthma and sleep apnea
Fatty liver disease, gallstones, and GERD
These are just the physical effects, which are frightening enough but we can’t overlook emotional effects such as being bullied and made fun of, low self-esteem, anxiety and depression.
I understand many families are struggling financially but there are definitely ways to help your child or grandchild learn healthier habits and provide more nutritious meals without breaking the bank. We’ve all been there – at least I certainly was when my children were young, but even a few very simple changes like eliminating sodas and sugary juices and replacing them with water will make a profound improvement.
Here’s to helping the next generation overcome this obesity epidemic.
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