What Causes Childhood Obesity? – Part 51

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As many of my regular viewers to this web blog know, there are many factors contributing to childhood obesity. I post daily here about it, whether news print articles, opinions, feedback, or just personal opinion.

Recently, I wrote an article for Yahoo! (click here) about childhood obesity. I started searching for sources for this article, and received over 100 responses to the question, “What do you think caused the rise in childhood obesity?” Responses came from professional and Olympic athletes, fitness experts, health experts, nutritionist, and parents.

I was unable to use everyone’s feedback, but thought it would be great to post some of their responses on my blog in a new web series, “What Causes Childhood Obesity.” I hope that you enjoy the opinions here from various individuals. Please remember, my including their posts does not necessarily mean I agree or endorse their opinion, rather, a place to share other people’s thoughts.

Keeping Kids Fit

Opinion: Annika Sorenstam

Kids are not participating in activities as much as they should every day. A lot of time is spent in front of computers, video games and TVs. In addition to that, kids diets are not as health conscious as they should be. (i.e., a lot of sodas, fast food and processed food, which, together, is a bad combination).

From a food standpoint, reducing the amount of sugar and increasing water in a child’s life can help them lead a healthier lifestyle. From an activity standpoint, one change to help a child live a healthier lifestyle is reducing an hour a day from computer time.

Annika Sorenstam, World Golf Hall of Famer, President of ANNIKA Brand of Businesses

What Causes Childhood Obesity? – Part 50

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As many of my regular viewers to this web blog know, there are many factors contributing to childhood obesity. I post daily here about it, whether news print articles, opinions, feedback, or just personal opinion.

Recently, I wrote an article for Yahoo! (click here) about childhood obesity. I started searching for sources for this article, and received over 100 responses to the question, “What do you think caused the rise in childhood obesity?” Responses came from professional and Olympic athletes, fitness experts, health experts, nutritionist, and parents.

I was unable to use everyone’s feedback, but thought it would be great to post some of their responses on my blog in a new web series, “What Causes Childhood Obesity.” I hope that you enjoy the opinions here from various individuals. Please remember, my including their posts does not necessarily mean I agree or endorse their opinion, rather, a place to share other people’s thoughts.

Keeping Kids Fit

Opinion: Dan O’Brien

I believe that childhood obesity is on the rise due to a few different factors. Fast food is cheap and easy to get and parents are busy. Snacks have become a part of daily diet, and most of these snacks are very unhealthy (chips, cookies, candy). By the time the child understands that he is overweight or at risk, he hasn’t been educated enough on how to fix the problem.

Physical education must be mandatory through all years of education, K-12.

Parents should take more responsibility in providing healthy meals and snacks for their children.

Dan O’Brien, 3x World Champion, 1996 Olympic Gold Medalist – Decathlon
Professional Spokesperson, Trainer, Motivational Speaker and Coach

What Causes Childhood Obesity? – Part 49

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As many of my regular viewers to this web blog know, there are many factors contributing to childhood obesity. I post daily here about it, whether news print articles, opinions, feedback, or just personal opinion.

Recently, I wrote an article for Yahoo! (click here) about childhood obesity. I started searching for sources for this article, and received over 100 responses to the question, “What do you think caused the rise in childhood obesity?” Responses came from professional and Olympic athletes, fitness experts, health experts, nutritionist, and parents.

I was unable to use everyone’s feedback, but thought it would be great to post some of their responses on my blog in a new web series, “What Causes Childhood Obesity.” I hope that you enjoy the opinions here from various individuals. Please remember, my including their posts does not necessarily mean I agree or endorse their opinion, rather, a place to share other people’s thoughts.

Keeping Kids Fit

Opinion: Wes Cole

In the big dilemma of childhood obesity, everything from inactivity to fast food to added hormones has had the big finger pointed at them over the years. While they all likely play a roll, I believe the main culprit is what’s quenching our children’s thirst. The average American consumes over one hundred and sixty five pounds of sugar a year according to the U.S Department of Agriculture. Children often consume more. With this amount of added sugars finding their way into our children’s diets, worrying about anything else would be equivalent to obsessing over the paint job on your car when your transmission is shot. Imagine feeding your child thirty-one, 5-pound bags of sugar every year! And how is it even possible? Sugar laden sodas, juices and energy drinks are destroying our children’s health mostly because of how easy it is to consume a massive amount of sugar in drink form.

The calories are staggering. The average can of soda has nine teaspoons of sugar, but no kid is drinking one can or bottle anymore like they did in the seventies. They’re literally drinking gigantic, fifty-two ounce drums of soda and taking down sports drinks, energy drinks, fancy coffees and juices that often have more sugar than soda. Fresh water, unsweetened tea and low fat milk should be the staple beverages in schools like it used to be. If we develop in our children a habit for making healthier drink choices early, that habit will protect them the rest of their lives.

Wes Cole

What Causes Childhood Obesity? – Part 48

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As many of my regular viewers to this web blog know, there are many factors contributing to childhood obesity. I post daily here about it, whether news print articles, opinions, feedback, or just personal opinion.

Recently, I wrote an article for Yahoo! (click here) about childhood obesity. I started searching for sources for this article, and received over 100 responses to the question, “What do you think caused the rise in childhood obesity?” Responses came from professional and Olympic athletes, fitness experts, health experts, nutritionist, and parents.

I was unable to use everyone’s feedback, but thought it would be great to post some of their responses on my blog in a new web series, “What Causes Childhood Obesity.” I hope that you enjoy the opinions here from various individuals. Please remember, my including their posts does not necessarily mean I agree or endorse their opinion, rather, a place to share other people’s thoughts.

Keeping Kids Fit

Opinion: Ari Levy, MD

I think that a lack of accountability is at the heart of the childhood obesity epidemic. Parents need to take responsibility and help kids get active. Telling them to get off the couch isn’t enough—and you can’t assume the schools are handling our childrens’ health literacy. We used to be able to count more on our schools to make sure kids got time to run around and get active during the school day—unfortunately, that’s not the case these days. Budget cuts have impacted PE, and recent studies have found that kids simply aren’t moving enough. It’s on parents to fill that void and make physical activity a fun part of daily life. Parents need to make health and well-being a value and demonstrate that to their kids.

I think one thing that will make a long-term difference is education. Kids need to know how to eat well. They need to know how to set goals for their health. They need to want to get active. It comes down to having a champion dedicated to empowering kids with the knowledge and accountability to succeed.

– Ari Levy, MD, Co-CEO, Engaged Health Solutions

What Causes Childhood Obesity? – Part 47

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As many of my regular viewers to this web blog know, there are many factors contributing to childhood obesity. I post daily here about it, whether news print articles, opinions, feedback, or just personal opinion.

Recently, I wrote an article for Yahoo! (click here) about childhood obesity. I started searching for sources for this article, and received over 100 responses to the question, “What do you think caused the rise in childhood obesity?” Responses came from professional and Olympic athletes, fitness experts, health experts, nutritionist, and parents.

I was unable to use everyone’s feedback, but thought it would be great to post some of their responses on my blog in a new web series, “What Causes Childhood Obesity.” I hope that you enjoy the opinions here from various individuals. Please remember, my including their posts does not necessarily mean I agree or endorse their opinion, rather, a place to share other people’s thoughts.

Keeping Kids Fit

Opinion: Anna Renderer

Childhood obesity has been on the rise mainly because of the technology advances! Anything from bigger and better video games, faster computers with more software programs and handheld entertainment making it possible to watch movies, play games and talk to friends even outside the home.

There is hardly a moment in the day that goes by that kids cannot watch TV, play video games, or surf the internet. The only time that kids are forced to be active is during PE at school or with an after school sport. The PE programs are being cut in many school programs due to lack of funds and many parents cannot afford to put kids into after school programs. Therefore, these kids are not getting the activity they need to be healthy.

So in summary, it’s the combination of our technology boom and the decrease in the concern for PE programs in schools.

One change in a child’s life that could lead them to living a healthier lifestyle would be to have one activity they commit to each day. This could change by season, month, week or day. If every child had either one sport activity, one home activity, or one PE activity that they did once a day then they would be on the track to a healthier life. To ask a child what they do for activity each day and get an answer would be the key to a healthy generation of kids.

Anna Renderer

What Causes Childhood Obesity? – Part 46

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As many of my regular viewers to this web blog know, there are many factors contributing to childhood obesity. I post daily here about it, whether news print articles, opinions, feedback, or just personal opinion.

Recently, I wrote an article for Yahoo! (click here) about childhood obesity. I started searching for sources for this article, and received over 100 responses to the question, “What do you think caused the rise in childhood obesity?” Responses came from professional and Olympic athletes, fitness experts, health experts, nutritionist, and parents.

I was unable to use everyone’s feedback, but thought it would be great to post some of their responses on my blog in a new web series, “What Causes Childhood Obesity.” I hope that you enjoy the opinions here from various individuals. Please remember, my including their posts does not necessarily mean I agree or endorse their opinion, rather, a place to share other people’s thoughts.

Keeping Kids Fit

Opinion: Dr. Pat Cantrell

I think childhood obesity rates have stabilized in the last few years. We still see it a lot but not at an increasing rate. Fifteen years ago, when I started as a Pediatrician, parents were very resistant to the idea that their child was overweight or becoming overweight. If I even brought up the subject that a child’s weight was increasing, they often didn’t think it was a real problem. With all of the media coverage on childhood obesity, legislation banning sodas from schools, and information given to parents about healthy nutrition and exercise from doctors and schools, some people are getting the message and making the changes needed to help treat and prevent childhood obesity.

Get kids active! With all of the electronic devices: phones, ipads, computers, TV, and video games, kids are spending way too much time being inactive. Limiting the amount of screen time to no more than 2 hours a day is a good goal for everyone.

Dr. Pat Cantrell

What Causes Childhood Obesity? – Part 45

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As many of my regular viewers to this web blog know, there are many factors contributing to childhood obesity. I post daily here about it, whether news print articles, opinions, feedback, or just personal opinion.

Recently, I wrote an article for Yahoo! (click here) about childhood obesity. I started searching for sources for this article, and received over 100 responses to the question, “What do you think caused the rise in childhood obesity?” Responses came from professional and Olympic athletes, fitness experts, health experts, nutritionist, and parents.

I was unable to use everyone’s feedback, but thought it would be great to post some of their responses on my blog in a new web series, “What Causes Childhood Obesity.” I hope that you enjoy the opinions here from various individuals. Please remember, my including their posts does not necessarily mean I agree or endorse their opinion, rather, a place to share other people’s thoughts.

Keeping Kids Fit

Opinion: Beth Bader

Our food system is skewed toward processed and fast foods as the most accessible, cheapest and most abundant choices offered. Every out-of-home eating venue from our schools to the post-game snack at the soccer field is usually a processed food item. Few of us realize this, but if we all woke up tomorrow and said, “Today my family is going to eat real foods!” there would be a massive shortage of fresh fruits and vegetables, dairy and whole grains. Our food supply is that far out of balance.

What one change would immediately improve the health of our kids? Eat more real food. Fruits not juice or gummy “froot snacks.” Vegetables besides fried potatoes. Whole grains that are not refined or served up “frosted.” Milk without the extra four teaspoons of sugar and artificial chocolate flavor. That one thing would immediately reduce the amount of salt, saturated fat, sugars (including HFCS) in our children’s diets.

Beth Bader, co-author of The Cleaner Plate Club

What Causes Childhood Obesity? – Part 44

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As many of my regular viewers to this web blog know, there are many factors contributing to childhood obesity. I post daily here about it, whether news print articles, opinions, feedback, or just personal opinion.

Recently, I wrote an article for Yahoo! (click here) about childhood obesity. I started searching for sources for this article, and received over 100 responses to the question, “What do you think caused the rise in childhood obesity?” Responses came from professional and Olympic athletes, fitness experts, health experts, nutritionist, and parents.

I was unable to use everyone’s feedback, but thought it would be great to post some of their responses on my blog in a new web series, “What Causes Childhood Obesity.” I hope that you enjoy the opinions here from various individuals. Please remember, my including their posts does not necessarily mean I agree or endorse their opinion, rather, a place to share other people’s thoughts.

Keeping Kids Fit

Opinion: Francesca Zavacky

Today’s technology-centric world, combined with an over-scheduled and mostly sedentary lifestyle is teaching our youth that the new normal is eating fast food on the run, and foregoing an active lifestyle for video games and seat time for academics is more valued. Today’s school-aged youth rarely receive a comprehensive health education where they learn prevention and healthy practices in the school setting, and physical education is being eliminated as a daily subject. How will our children learn to keep their bodies in peak condition for the rigors of today’s busy lifestyles if they do not have the opportunity to learn those skills throughout their education careers?

Health education and physical education must be deemed core academic subjects at the federal level, so that every state in the US is required to provide a comprehensive health and physical education to every child in the US, maximizing their potential to be healthy across the lifespan.

Francesca Zavacky, M.Ed., Senior Program Manager, Project Director, NASPE/CDC Cooperative Agreement Project

What Causes Childhood Obesity? – Part 43

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As many of my regular viewers to this web blog know, there are many factors contributing to childhood obesity. I post daily here about it, whether news print articles, opinions, feedback, or just personal opinion.

Recently, I wrote an article for Yahoo! (click here) about childhood obesity. I started searching for sources for this article, and received over 100 responses to the question, “What do you think caused the rise in childhood obesity?” Responses came from professional and Olympic athletes, fitness experts, health experts, nutritionist, and parents.

I was unable to use everyone’s feedback, but thought it would be great to post some of their responses on my blog in a new web series, “What Causes Childhood Obesity.” I hope that you enjoy the opinions here from various individuals. Please remember, my including their posts does not necessarily mean I agree or endorse their opinion, rather, a place to share other people’s thoughts.

Keeping Kids Fit

Opinion: Dana El Gammal

Childhood obesity is on the rise as a result of the decisions forced upon, or made for them, by the adults who touch their lives. Everyone from parents to policy makers create a difficult environment for children to create, and maintain, healthy lifestyle habits. Although this might be a bit hard to swallow as adults, and it certainly doesn’t pertain to the small percentage of children whose obesity is related to a clinical issue, we can’t ignore the fact that we are failing our future generations by not protecting their most important asset, their health.

For example, our young children are not the ones doing the grocery shopping, picking up fast food for dinner, buying the dvds/video games, deciding what will be served for lunch at school/packing their lunches, deciding how much activity they get during the school day and at home, or making the decisions about what is available in vending machines. Taking it a step further, it is the adults in business and government who decide what goes into the processed food our children eat, the price and accessibility of healthy food options (both for the underprivileged and for those just trying to get by in the current state of the economy), what is promoted and targeted towards our children in the media, as well as how we deal with situations like food deserts, lack of education, and lack of support/resources in regards to health and wellness.

Government-mandated health education for all adults with dependents would have the greatest impact on reversing the trend of childhood obesity. These programs could be delivered either through their insurance coverage (whether that be commercial coverage or government programs such as medicare) or through school programming. As adults WE need to better prepare our children for their future. Studies have shown that the probability of childhood overweight persisting into adulthood increases from approximately 20% at 4 years of age, to between 40% and 80% by adolescence. This proves it is imperative that we start our children off on the right foot. And while the solution is multifaceted with many different resource components, we have to make our children’s health, as well as our own, a top priority, and set our children up for success from the very beginning. It is our responsibility to provide them with the necessary resources and knowledge to make the healthiest choices possible.

Dana El Gammal, Founder and CEO of InspireHealth, creator of The 7 Habits of Healthy People®, and Founder of Neighborhoods InspireHealth, the non-profit subsidiary of InspireHealth.

What Causes Childhood Obesity? – Part 41

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As many of my regular viewers to this web blog know, there are many factors contributing to childhood obesity. I post daily here about it, whether news print articles, opinions, feedback, or just personal opinion.

Recently, I wrote an article for Yahoo! (click here) about childhood obesity. I started searching for sources for this article, and received over 100 responses to the question, “What do you think caused the rise in childhood obesity?” Responses came from professional and Olympic athletes, fitness experts, health experts, nutritionist, and parents.

I was unable to use everyone’s feedback, but thought it would be great to post some of their responses on my blog in a new web series, “What Causes Childhood Obesity.” I hope that you enjoy the opinions here from various individuals. Please remember, my including their posts does not necessarily mean I agree or endorse their opinion, rather, a place to share other people’s thoughts.

Keeping Kids Fit

Opinion: Lisa Suriano

There is a combination of factors that has created a perfect storm for the childhood obesity epidemic. We can site the changes in our food system and culture of eating. American food culture has moved dangerously far away from whole, nutrient-dense foods and home cooking. The family meal is no longer a daily event and cooking skills in the population have diminished with the disappearance of home economics courses in schools. From-scratch meals made with whole foods have been replaced in the American diet by processed foods high in sodium and sugar. This societal behavior change has altered children’s tastes, preferences and familiarly with nutritious foods such as fruits and vegetables.

However, food is not the only culprit. The lack of physical activity for children is a key component to the rise of childhood obesity. Shockingly, there are many school days that do not include a PE or recess period. That coupled with children coming home to a vast array of video games, computer screens and any number of other sources of handheld entertainment has striped away the opportunities for kids to simply run around, be active and burn calories.

Nutrition and physical education must being given a valued place in the school day. To create a future generation that is sustainably healthy, it is critical for children to learn how to feed themselves well and take care of their bodies.

– Lisa Suriano, Founder of the Veggiecation Program