Child Obesity - America on the MovePediatricians are alarmed at the rapid rise in the incidence of type 2 diabetes in children and adolescents. Previously this condition was largely associated with overweight, middle-aged adults. Recent reports reveal that up to 40 percent of children with newly diagnosed diabetes have type 2 diabetes. Why this epidemic? Could it be related to the fact that the incidence of overweight in children has doubled since 1980?
With the increasing number of overweight children in the U.S. we are now seeing more and more children with elevated blood lipids, high blood pressure, and abnormal blood glucose levels that are characteristic of overweight adults, and can lead to cardiovascular disease and diabetes. In addition to the physical health problems, overweight children can also experience emotional disorders.
Many young people today follow a very sedentary lifestyle. Leisure time is so often spent watching television, surfing the web, or chatting on the internet, rather than outdoor activities. Furthermore, we live in a society where fast food is abundant and serving sizes are large. Adult Americans spend billions of dollars every year on weight reduction programs, appetite-reducing medications, and exercise gadgets to try and win the battle of the bulge.
The new government-sponsored initiative America on the Move is aimed at getting Americans walking every day in an effort to curtail the obesity epidemic. It is anticipated that further weight gains could be prevented if each person added 2,000 steps to their daily program.
Author: Winston Craig, MPH, PhD, RD.
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