Childhood obesity is a serious problem in Guam. Two weeks ago, Dr. Annette M. David, co-founder of Health Partners LLC, a Guam-based clinical and consulting health practice, presented some scary statistics at the 2012 Healthy Island Healthy People Conference.
Among them: 32 percent of children in Guam are either overweight or obese (Guam DOE Youth Risk Behavior Surveillance System, as provided by Dr. David, Guam State Epidemiological Outcomes Workgroup).
She also cautioned not to be fooled by any reports that point to downward trends in overweight kids, because many of these kids are not getting fit but are being reclassified from overweight to obese.
Researchers can provide the data and clinicians can create nutrition and physical activity programs tailored specifically for obese kids.
But, ultimately, it is up to the adults in their lives to understand the severity of the problem, take responsibility for it and be willing, active participants in solving it. Children cannot be expected to fight this battle on their own.