Statistics are staggering with KidsHealth.org reporting statistics that nearly 1 out of 3 kids are now overweight and obese. The reason, they say is our lifestyle.
“Many kids are spending less time exercising and more time in front of the TV, computer, or video-game console. And today's busy families have fewer free moments to prepare nutritious, home-cooked meals. From fast food to electronics, quick and easy is the reality for many people in the new millennium.”
According to the Kaiser Foundation, the increase in media exposure has played a significant role in childhood obesity.
“During the same period in which childhood obesity has increased so dramatically, there has also been an explosion in media targeted to children: TV shows and videos, specialized cable networks, video games, computer activities and internet Web sites. Children today spend an average of five-and-a-half hours a day using media, the equivalent of a full time job, and more than they spend doing anything else besides sleeping.”
The report goes onto to say that even the youngest of children such as preschoolers have already developed this media-driven lifestyle by spending just as much time with their televisions and gadgets as they do enjoying playing outside.
The Kaiser Report also expresses concern over the exposure to ad campaigns geared towards kids which they said, “promotes foods such as candy, soda, and snacks.” They stated that “it is estimated that they typical child sees about 40,000 ads a year on TV alone.”
A study reported on FamilyEducation.com cites researcher Dr. Alvin Poussaint, “A recent study reported that two-to-six-year-olds who watch television are more likely to choose food products advertised on TV than children who do not watch such commercials. These highly effective advertising campaigns, combined with a physically inactive lifestyle, have produced a generation of kids who are at high risk for obesity-associated medical conditions.”
It is important that parents intercede and set an example in keeping their kids active. They also want to make sure to approach the subject delicately and not down grade their kid’s self-esteem.
KidsHealth.org reports that, “Kids who are unhappy with their weight may be more likely than average-weight kids to: develop unhealthy dieting habits and eating disorders, such as anorexia nervosa and bulimia, be more prone to depression and be at risk for substance abuse.”
Experts agree on parents encouraging physical activities and limit television and video game playing, etc. Computer time spent for homework and other educational tools of course are encouraged, but make sure your child has balance in their sedentary and active play.
“Overweight and Obesity - KidsHealth.org.” Kids Health Parent Nutrition Center. Web 29 Sept. 2011.
“The Role of The Media in Childhood Obesity – KFF.org.” The Kaiser Family Foundation Organization. Web 29 2011.
“Obesity Among Children – Alvin Pouissant, MD. – FamilyEducation.com.” Family Education. Web 29 Sept. 2011.
Joanne Sgro-Killworth is a Television Fitness Expert, Certified Personal Trainer and Sport Nutritionist. She is Certified in Pilates, Pre-natal/Post-Partum, Yoga and Senior Fitness. She specializes in Weight Loss, Post-Rehab and Post Cancer Training.
Joanne's fitness plans and recipes are available globally on her website www.fitnessanswer.com. She resides in the Phoenix, AZ area with her husband, where she runs her personal training business, Fitness Answer, LLC.
Reviewed September 29, 2011
by Michele Blacksberg RN
Edited by Jody Smith