- Posted August 7, 2013 by
Childhood Obesity Rate Decreases in Many States, Says CDC
This comes as a change to the rise of obesity the last few years. The report showed a slight decrease among preschoolers, and an overall improvement across the country.
Unfortunately, it does not change much. Childhood obesity is still a widespread epidemic that is not going to disappear with small decreases. It is a step in the right direction, but it is only a step.
KJ Dell’Antonia of Motherlode.com, a website devoted to advice and articles for raising children, wrote a blog on The New York Times about what can be done to combat obesity. The best possible tool, she states, is the kitchen.
“If adults can find a healthier balance in preparing their own foods,” she writes, “parents can encourage healthier eating in their children by cooking and eating at home (and teaching children to do the same).”
But diet alone may not be enough. Exercise should go hand in hand with diet to ensure a fit and healthy life, especially for children.
A study conducted by UCLA researchers showed that a combination of diet and exercise helped improve the overall overweight condition of the children sampled. The study featured children of primarily low-income families, who are statistically more overweight than their higher-income classmates.
Lower-income families tend to have a higher rate of obesity. Healthier foods tend to be more expensive, and those that live on low income might not be able to get to a proper grocery store to buy the foods that they need, like fruits and vegetables. Instead, they sometimes settle for the convenience store, says the Food Research and Action Center (FRAC).
There are many programs that have been established to help combat this epidemic, such as the National Football League’s Play 60, which encourages children to be active 60 minutes a day in order to combat obesity.
NFL players have participated in Play 60 events in an effort to attract and encourage children. Commercials during NFL games, as well as pictures found on the website, feature several NFL stars, such as Andrew Luck and Adrian Peterson.
The Let’s Move program was launched by First Lady Michelle Obama to do the same thing as Play 60 – get kids active for 60 minutes each day. The program outlines goals as far as activity, diet, and activity within the community to make it healthier, and is part of First Lady Obama’s plan to cure childhood obesity through diet and exercise.
Art of Stepping, a national copyrighted program, looks to make exercise educational as well, combining mathematics with a rigorous step routine for a unique experience. Founded in 2006, the movement provides a method of exercise that can be performed by anyone of any age within the community.
Step is a form of dance where footwork is primary, with arms and hands complementing the stomps and steps. Not only does the program support academics, it combines it with physical fitness to ensure children are growing both smarter and stronger at the same time. The mathematics aspect is used with the beats and the counts during the steps.
While the rate has declined recently, it is important to remember that the road to making childhood obesity rare is long and requires much effort, as set down by the many programs and diets dedicated to making children healthier.