Let’s support First Lady Michelle Obama in her effort to reduce the alarming rise in childhood obesity in our county, and the rise of both short- and long-term health problems that obesity causes through her program, Let’s Move!. Childhood obesity is arguably the greatest health crisis we face in our country.
In her September 2012 Parade interview, First Lady Obama boldly stated, “While we’ve seen some very profound cultural shifts, we still have communities that don’t have access to affordable and healthy foods… We need to impact the nature of food in grocery stores, especially in terms of sugar, fat, and salt… The program seeks to provide families with the simple tools needed to help kids be more active, eat better, and become healthier.”
Obesity rates in children ages 12-19
Source: National Center for Health Statistics, part of the CDC
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the number of overweight and obese children in the U.S. has tripled in the past 30 years. These statistics are alarming and disturbing to me, since we have learned childhood obesity sets the stage for a large spectrum of potential health problems, including cardiovascular issues, diabetes, joint problems, some cancers and, of course, an increased likelihood of being obese as an adult.
Donna Ryan, president of the Obesity Society, a group of weight-management researchers and professionals, was quoted as saying, “It’s crucial to address the problem early. If you can get kids into healthier eating habits when they are younger, their weight may self-correct. But once they become obese adults, it’s difficult to reverse.”
I couldn’t agree more. Learning the right habits for health from the get-go is true preventive medicine.
I am honored to be involved through my blogs, websites, and the books I’ve written on the subjects of children’s nutrition and health. I am also honored that my clinic, Preventive Medical Center of Marin, has a number of programs and practitioners specializing in areas of children’s health and weight management, including a family weight loss and management program that involves parents and children with a plan together. To find out more, just email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.