A new study released by Kaiser Permanente sought to determine the prevalence of extreme obesity among our children. This is the first study that has looked at the issues among extreme obese children.
The study had a sample of kids between the ages of 2 and 19 years of age. The results of this study showed that 7.3% of boys and 5.5% of girls are categorized as extremely obese. This percentage was higher among the Hispanic and African American population and slightly lower among the Asian-Pacific and White Americans.
To put this into perspective, the population of children in 2006 in the United States was 73 million kids so, 5.1 million children in the US are extremely obese.
This means that 5.1 million children are set up to have huge health issues and a shorter lifespan compared to their healthy counterparts. This study showed that children that are extremely obese have a 10 to 20 year decrease for their life expectancy! It also showed that there is a great increase in health issues that used to be seen only in the 50s or 60s that are now present in 20 year olds. These health issues include heart disease, type 2 diabetes, a join issues to name a few.
We are setting our kids up for failure! Health initiatives need to be taken in order to give these kids a chance! They are young and have their whole lives ahead of them. By allowing them to partake in unhealthy behaviors, we as adults are failing them! We are shortening their lives and decreasing their overall quality of life. They are becoming sicker and are not able to experience everything like other children.
So what should we do as adults and parents to help our children out? We need to set an example with our own health. We should replace unhealthy eating habits with lots of nutritious alternatives that will give them the vital nutrients that will help prevent disease and extend their lives. We also need to promote physical activity whether it’s encouraging playing on the playground, playing sports, or just playing outside. It is vital we teach them on healthy eating and activity habits to give them the best chance for the life they deserve.
Now, it’s not just the extremely obese children that have issues. The percentage of children who are merely overweight is increasing dramatically. Even if you think your kids are just a little chubby and it’s cute, make sure you have their best interest at heart. Teach them the healthy habits. Give your kids the life they deserve! This research study also showed that 37% of children are overweight, 20% are obese, and 6% overall are extremely obese. Just 10 years ago, the percentage of obese children was less than 5%! What are we doing to our kids! Get in gear parents and other adults and help our children regain their health and prevent disease in order that they may grow up and reach their full potential. It’s up to you! Help our kids!