American children are the second most obese children in the world. The cost for medical bills and related illnesses is staggering. These children will grow up to be obese adults which will lead to even more illness. Children are robbed of their childhood by hypertension, heart disease, diabetes and a host of other illnesses linked to obesity. The situation is very serious. One third of our adults are already obese and with the oncoming crop of obese children, we will have a medical crisis, if something drastic isn’t done.
Most people gain weight as they age and when a child starts out overweight health conditions are accelerated. Overweight employees already cost their employers $7,000 on the average annually in illnesses. There is much to do and it starts with personal responsibility. Whether to exercise and eat healthy food is up to mom and dad.
It’s a tough decision to make when you’re used to “super sizes” and evenings spent in front of the TV and game stations. But yours and your children’s health is more important than momentary diversions. Mom and Dad need to make a nutrition and exercise plan and see that everyone in the family follows it. Studies show that breast fed babies are healthier and not as apt to become overweight so that’s something else for families to take in consideration.
For the first time in history, obesity will shorten the life expectancy of the next generation. Parents and communities cannot set idly by and let this happen. Wellness programs can be promoted at places of work, at schools, and medical clinics. Exercise programs should be put in place. Healthy diet plans should be passed out from medical centers.
Parents and children should be educated. All sectors of the community are responsible for getting into the mixture by offering opportunities for fitness and healthy nutrition. The average person already pays roughly $250 per year in extra premiums to cover the cost of the obese population. You can see why obesity effects everyone, even those that are not overweight.
Obesity is different from alcohol and drug addiction because we cannot choose not to eat, but obesity is an addiction just the same. We need classes at community centers, medical clinics and schools to teach parents and children how to exercise and eat a healthy diet. Nix sitting down after a healthy dinner, instead get the family out for a long walk, swim, play dodge ball, bike ride or any number of activities. Of course you will miss the fries and sugary snacks but the family’s health is worth it.
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