Childhood obesity on the rise – Health

Childhood obesity on the rise – Health – Brief Article

Beth Reece

OBESITY is epidemic in the United States, according to the National Center for Chronic Disease Prevention and Health Promotion. Today there are nearly twice as many overweight children and almost three times as many overweight adolescents as in 1980. Results of the 1999 National Health and Nutrition Examination revealed that 13 percent of children and adolescents were overweight. The major causes are poor dietary habits and inactivity.

Beyond being teased and having low self-esteem, overweight children are more likely to suffer from high blood pressure, asthma, type 2 diabetes, orthopedic complications, hypertension and sleep apnea.

Parents can encourage healthy lifestyles in children by creating safe food environments and fostering positive behaviors about weight, experts say. Get rid of tempting snacks and sodas, and expose children to a variety of healthy foods. Parents should also encourage children to spend at least 30 minutes playing outside and limit the time they watch TV.

For more information and tips on weight maintenance, check out www.cdc.gov and www.obesity.org.

COPYRIGHT 2003 Soldiers Magazine

COPYRIGHT 2003 Gale Group