Healthy Children - December 2011

 

Here are the Facts

Helping children learn to eat right and be active every day means they have a better shot at being successful in school – and in life. But, our children’s health and their ability to learn continue to be in jeopardy. The statistics are alarming and should encourage all of us to take action.

  • More than 30 percent of American children are obese or overweight. This is
    triple the number than in 1980.
  • Overweight kids are likely to become overweight adults.
  • Poor nutrition is everywhere, only 2 percent of school-age children consistently eat well.
  • Kids are less active overall due to today’s fast-paced but sedentary lifestyles. Only 8 percent of elementary school students and 6 percent of middle school
    and high school students have daily PE at school.
  • 35% of school-age children watch an average of 5 or more hours of TV on a school day.
  • Overweight kids miss school 4 times as much as normal weight kids. If kids aren’t in school, they can’t learn.
  • Low-income and minority children are most seriously at risk.
  • All of these children face serious, yet preventable, obesity-related health risks such as diabetes, heart disease and some types of cancer.
  • As a nation, we spend $119 billion annually on obesity-related health care costs. The U.S. economy simply cannot bear continued increases in these costs.

 

If we don’t help our children learn to eat right and be active every day, then this generation will be the first to live shorter lives than their parents. In addition, evidence continues to show that healthy kids learn better... and our kids are counting on us.

Reprinted with permission from: www.actionforhealthykids.org/