by Arrin Larson, BS, NSCA-CPT, Certified Wellness Coach
Obesity is a growing health concern across the nation, especially with our nation’s children. Results from the 2003-2004 National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES), using measured heights and weights, indicate that an estimated 17 percent of children and adolescents ages 2-19 years of age are overweight.
Taken directly from the National Center for Health statistics, “Childhood obesity involves significant physical and emotional health risks. In 2000, it was estimated that 30 percent of boys and 40 percent of girls born in the United States are at risk for being diagnosed with type 2 diabetes at some point in their lives.”
Physical activity and proper nutrition are two key components to preventing and treating the disease of obesity. Physical activity can prevent or delay hypertension, prevent diabetes, increase bone density, decrease anxiety, improve body image and mood, improve scholastic performance in school, develop good physical fitness and promote weight control, just to name a few.
The American College of Sports Medicine and Center for Disease Control recommend that adolescents and adults engage in 30 minutes or more a day of moderate intensity exercise most days of the week. It is recommended for children to engage in 60 minutes of moderate intensity exercise most days.
The Centers for Disease Control, the National Association for Sports and Physical Education and the American Heart Association all recommend a comprehensive daily physical education program for children K-12.
Did Your Know?
1. Get yourself moving
2. Shut off the television, video games and computers
3. Promote PE in school
4. Promote activity rather than exercise
5. Be supportive
A fun and interactive tool is on the My Pyramid Web site. Visit the “For Kids” section at www.mypyramid.gov to start playing. This Web site also has great information on exercise and nutrition and a game for kids to play, learning about fuel (food) and activity. Check it out.
About the Author:
Arrin Larson, BS, NSCA-CPT, is an exercise physiologist educator at Scottsdale Healthcare and Scottsdale Bariatric Center in Scottsdale, AZ.
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