Obesity starts with parents

Published 10:13 am Wednesday, October 7, 2009

“Childhood obesity” has become a buzzword in recent years, a reflection on the fact that more and more children are being classified as overweight.

This is a real problem but many people seem to be unable to identify the issue driving it.

It isn’t the schools’ fault. It isn’t television’s fault. It isn’t video games’ fault. And it certainly isn’t the child’s fault.

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No, the blame falls squarely at home with Mom and Dad.

What do we expect? Americans in general are rapidly becoming fatter and fatter. So if Mom and Dad aren’t considering this important, the children won’t either.

And while we applaud Lawrence County’s schools for making efforts to address this growing epidemic, we hope to see some education occur at home.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 16 percent of children — more than 9 million — who are ages 6 to 19 are overweight or obese. This number has tripled over the past decade.

Plus, another 15 percent were considered at risk of becoming overweight.

Here are some more alarming statistics that offers further proof that the problem starts with mommy and daddy.

The National Center for Health reports:

 Between 1962 and 2000, the number of obese Americans grew from 13 percent to 31 percent.

63 percent of Americans are overweight are considered overweight based on Body Mass Index.

 3.8 million people weigh more than 300 pounds. More than 400,000 people weigh more than 400 pounds.

Obesity is responsible for 300,000 deaths every year.

So the problem is very real.

Now is time to look at real solutions that involve a multi-faceted approach that includes children and their parents.

Maybe then the buzzword can become “progress.”