How important is your children’s health?
There is almost no question that one of the biggest health epidemics that faces North America is rising obesity that has been spreading rapidly. Adult obesity has doubled from the year 1980 from 15% to a whopping 30%, but guess what? That’s only for adults. While High Schoolers remain between 15%-20% on average, the children seem to have suffered the most, with their statistic for obesity tripling in the past few decades.
There are many explanations for obesity, and I suppose it would be short sighted to only indicate one possible culprit. There is of course the rise in fast food, junk food, processed food, and just about everything that’s bad for you but taste’s so good and saves so much money. That certainly doesn’t help. Then take into account the fact that we have been able to trace many childhood and even genetic culprits that are also to blame. Even from the time we are babies we pick up eating habits based on how we watch those around us eat as well as how we are feed. Did you know for example that breastfeeding a baby reduces the chance for obesity? This is because it teaches the baby to eat until he’s hungry rather than until the bottle is empty, a very important rule for eating when we get older.
Another major culprit for this epidemic however, I think goes without saying especially in Canada and of course the United States. We suffer severely from a lack of activity. Cars, mass transit, and number of other factors have made our society so we don’t have to walk or bike anywhere anymore. We can sit back, relax, and allow a machine to do all the moving for us. Combine that with the fact that all of our entertainment is now digital, and you’ll slowly start to see the problem. This problem seems to affect children more than anything, as it is they who will cling to the technology of this generation, for it is all they know.
How to stop this now? Simple, be more active!
Activity and movement is the key not just to fighting obesity but improving over all health. This kind of activity can include anything from sports to bike rides or quiet walks in the park. It could also simply include running around for a game of tag or hide and go seek. Anything that gets the muscles moving and the blood pumping is a plus in my book. Did you also know one of the steps for a healthier life according the U.S government is simply parking further away from each building we travel to (work, store, etc.), That’s because it forces us to walk, to move around, and use our muscles. The same concept works for our kids. We have to get them moving, running around, and having fun. If getting your kids away from the screen proves to be a problem you could even try a more creative solution. Use digital entertainment and combine it with physical activity as a clever solution. There’s the Wii Fit that comes with a number of physical challenges and activities you’re kids will love, or if you really get desperate get them on a walk by downloading the Pokemon Go app and go Pokemon hunting together.
Whatever you decide to do, make your health and your child’s a priority by becoming active. The best way to do this is to find fun activities you and your kids can enjoy together.