The rise in childhood obesity rates began in the 80s and hasn’t slowed since. If you think this is only an American problem, you’re wrong. Below are recent statistics for the estimated percentage of children who are overweight and/or obese:
- US – 33% – Center for Disease Control and Prevention
- Europe – 19% – European Association for the Study of Obesity
- Canada – 26% – Childhood Obesity Foundation
Several factors are linked to childhood obesity but the most prevalent are overeating processed foods high in salt, sugar, and/or fat combined with an inactive lifestyle. The simple solution seems to be to:
- feed kids healthy foods,
- use and teach portion control,
- and keep them active.
This isn’t as easy as it sounds. In order to make the above list happen, parents must:
- understand nutritional information on packages,
- be able to afford healthy food,
- understand proper portions for each developmental stage,
- have the time and money to keep your kids active.
Being overweight is very bad for your overall health; being obese greatly diminishes both quality of life and life expectancy. Obesity-related diseases are quickly becoming the number one cause of death in North America. We know this yet our kids keep getting fatter and fatter.
What are we going to do about it?