The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention sent a public alert to the nation that obesity has become the number one health issue in the United States. A study conducted at the North Carolina Children’s Hospital indicated that parents, of children who are overweight and or obese, do not comprehend that their child has a weight problem or is obese. In addition, a recent study conducted at the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill indicates that over weight obese babies are slower to reach motor skill milestones than babies who are not overweight or obese. A final research study confirms that the risk of developing kidney stones approximately doubles for children who are obese.
These studies only confirm what has been known for quite some time. Obesity in childhood is on the rise and it continues to take its toll. It is critical that parents and schools start getting children up off the couch, out of their desks, away from sitting in front of a computer screen and into physical activity. It is also critical that families begin to recognize the problems fast food creates in terms of their own obesity as well as their child’s obesity and start to eat in a manner that ensures a healthy lifestyle.
Obesity and Obesity in Childhood: Schools
Schools have begun to recognize the desperate situation the country is in and are beginning to initiate serious changes in school lunch programs as well as defining physical fitness programs to help children reduce their risk for obesity in childhood. Schools can’t turn the obesity of childhood problems around on their own. Families need to partner with schools to support school obesity in childhood prevention programs at home.
One way schools are trying to deal with obesity in childhood is to design physical education gym classes that are motivating and provide opportunities for competitive games. Children are by nature competitive, so adding a competitive component to physical fitness may motivate a child to become personally involved. A couple of games that teachers can use during recess time, a physical education teacher can use in physical education classes and parents can use at home are chaos tag and sucking monster tag.
Obesity and Obesity in Childhood: Chaos Tag
The game called chaos tag is a great game to keep all children moving at all times. This game helps children who are obese play longer because even though they may have been frozen when a child touched them, they can be unfrozen when another child touches them.
Obesity and Obesity in Childhood: Sucking Monsters
Sucking monsters is another tag game that keeps all kids running all of the time. In this game, two children are selected to be “it”. They run around and touch or capture other children. When a child has been touched they link arms with their captor and follow them around as the captor continues to catch other children. As each new child is captured they link arms with the last child captured. These links of children running around begins to look like chains of kids. The game ends when the last child has been captured by one the two children who were “it. The team who has the most children linked together wins.
Getting Your Family Off The Couch: Cardiovascular Tag Teams
Vascular Dementia: Strokes, Heart Attack, Alzheimer’s