Fifteen percent of American children ages 6-19 are overweight; that is triple the percentage from ten years ago. Another fifteen percent are at risk of becoming overweight.
Poor Diet, including fast food restaurants that feature cheap food, strongly flavored with sugar and fats. This kind of diet will result in the current generation of children who are now age 12 and younger, dying at an earlier age than their parents. The causes will be obesity, heart disease and diabetes, all attributable to POOR DIET and lack of exercise!
Sugar in the Diet. To a White Blood Cell, Sugar looks just like Vitamin C, chemically, and sugar will supplant the Vitamin C in the white blood cells thereby impairing the immune system. Every parent could benefit from a little research into the subject of sugar and the frequency of colds and flu during the holiday season. See my own article here: Fight off Colds and Flu by Cutting Out Sugar.
Body Image: We don’t have to be “stick figures” to be healthy. A robust lifestyle will build muscle and reduce fat. Your body type will find its own form. Be comfortable in that shape, if it suits you and you are otherwise healthy.
I believe that all children should receive a medical evaluation of their current health and Body Mass Index (BMI). This will give them and their parents a baseline from which to plan for the future and measure improvement. Don’t wait.
(This would be an excellent way to use some of the President's economic stimulus money--provide free physicals and BMI evaluations of every child in America under the age of 21 or so.)