I was watching ESPN this morning while I was eating my breakfast. Yes, this is my usual morning routine as a sports junkie! A story came on that I felt compelled to share with my readers. It highlighted a cause that is near and dear to my heart: Childhood obesity. So many of my adult patients are obese and if we curb this trend in our children, they are much more likely to be healthier adults. As a parent, I make sure my children are as active and healthy as they can be. Obese parents tend to have obese children. We need to break the cycle.
Here are the highlights of this story:
There's a childhood obesity crisis in the country, virtually any expert will tell you, and there is no shortage of reasons: increasingly sedentary lifestyles driven by video games, television and computers; a fast-food society in which soda machines and greasy cafeteria food are ubiquitous in kids' lives; and dwindling opportunities for exercise, particularly during the school day.
Put simply, at a time when every penny is being pinched by every school in every district in every county in every state, physical education is taking a beating. The experts and educators say there is no doubt that the erosion of P.E. has been a major contributor to the skyrocketing obesity rates.
And, of course, the more kids are unhealthy, the less they can exercise. This is their circle of life.
The National Association for Sport & Physical Education -- a non-profit organization made up of P.E. teachers, coaches, athletic directors and other professionals advocating for physical activity -- says students should receive 150 minutes of P.E. per week.
How many schools actually meet this standard….almost none!
For the entire article and video click here.
Take home message: we cannot rely on our schools to provide physical activity for our children. As parents, we need to turn off the TV, video games, and computers. Make our children go outside and play. Make healthy play a family tradition. On cold, rainy days teach your children stretching, yoga, or get small dumbbells and do a strength workout with them. Make it fun and most of all…share it with them! This will make family time a healthy time! Memories are made of this and your child will thank you when they are a healthy adult sharing the same kind of family time with their children!
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