The fact that childhood obesity is rising is undeniable. The prevalence of overweight children in the United States has continued to rise since the 1960’s. “In 2003 to 2004, 33.6% of children and adolescents in the US had a BMI for age...
The fact that childhood obesity is rising is undeniable. The prevalence of overweight children in the United States has continued to rise since the 1960’s. “In 2003 to 2004, 33.6% of children and adolescents in the US had a BMI for age at or above the sex-specific 85th percentile, which is considered overweight or obese.”  Childhood obesity is rising due to many factors, however if we focus on a few key initiatives this could change. Nutrition and mostly physical activity (PA) needs to be addressed. The incidence rate of obesity in youth has continued to grow and 30% of obese kids show types of insulin resistance (IR) and a lot of other metabolic abnormalities. They found that diets that include “elevated consumption of animal protein, particularly in early life, as well as diets rich in saturated, trans, and n-6 poly unsaturated fatty acids, and diets with a high carbohydrate to fat ratio, besides a high glycemic and low-fiber diet also appear to exacerbate adiposity and IR” . This can be corrected through nutrition and physical activity, but will only be successful with the support of the local community.
Giving the local community education on health, wellness, and fitness is ideal for stopping the obesity epidemic worldwide. We are failing to educate and involve the parents in proper nutrition and PA and should be “encouraging parents to increase physical activity, particularly on weekends, may be a highly effective way to leverage parental involvement in interventions to increase children’s physical activity” . By involving the parents it is less likely the child will develop or maintain obesity. The Parental Influence on Child Change in Physical Activity During a Family-Based Intervention for Child Weight Gain Prevention showed that “Family-based behavioral interventions are an effective approach for treating pediatric overweight, with positive outcomes demonstrated for time periods up to 10 years following completion of the intervention.”
Several reviews of therapy for pediatric obesity have concluded that “family-based behavioral treatments are a successful intervention format for pediatric obesity.”  Once we involve the parents and re-educate them and the children, we need to get back to the most important part of keeping obesity away which is old school physical activity (PA) and physical education (PE). It would be great to go back to the time when kids of all ages participated in PE for sixty minutes a day no matter what; when there was an expectation of health and fitness. Take the President’s Challenge for example: the expectation of physical fitness test has regressed and the pull ups have regressed to just a standard of hanging from the bar. If you look at the National Physical Fitness Award Qualifying Standards each year we would want to progress the number or the exercise to show improved fitness in our youth. We have failed them by not setting the expectation and providing the ability to develop a proper healthy lifestyle. We need communities to support each other and work together to stop childhood obesity before it’s too late.
Holm, Kristen. Wyatt, Holly. Murphy, James. (2012, July). Parental Influence on Child Change in Physical Activity During a Family-Based Intervention for Child Weight Gain Prevention. Journal of Physical Activity and Health. Vol. 9 (5), pp.661-669. Retrieved February 21st, 2013, from http://web.ebscohost.com
Can˜ete, Ramo´n. Gil-Campos, Mercedes, Aguilera, M Concepcio´n. (2007, March). Development of insulin resistance and its relation to diet in the obese child. European Journal of Nutrition. Vol. 46 (4), pp. 181-187. Retrieved February 21st, 2013, from http://web.ebscohost.com