North Carolina ranks fourteenth in the nation in childhood obesity. According to the CDC one in three children born in the year 2000 is on track to develop Type II Diabetes. For minorities, the prediction worsens to one in two.
Little Kids and Big Problems:
As a result young children are facing serious health issues. They have less energy and more trouble focusing in school; more are being diagnosed with heart disease, Type II diabetes and high blood pressure. Unless this trend is reversed, children born from the year 2000 will be the first generation to live sicker and die younger than their parents.
Living in the Land of Plenty:
America is one of the richest and most progressive nations in the world but we are some of the unhealthiest people in the world. We have great economic power and technological advancement. Yet we possess the smallest fund of practical nutritional knowledge.
The American Diet & Lifestyle:
We live our lives on the go eating fast food and microwave dinners. Our diet is based on packaged, processed and refined foods. It lacks pure wholesome food coming directly from the land. The outcome-our health is being sacrificed.
Causes of Childhood Obesity:
According to the Obesity Action Coalition, there are five factors that really impact childhood obesity; environment, lack of physical exercise, heredity & family, dietary patterns and socioeconomic status.
We eat out more, consume more calories, drink more sodas and the food portion sizes have increased. A decrease in physical education classes, fewer children walking or riding a bike to school every day as well as increase in screen time (computer, video games & TV) have all negatively affected children’s health. Learned behaviors are a major contributor rather than heredity.
Fresh Fruits & Vegetables are Important for Health:
They are naturally low in calories, provide essential nutrients, and play a role in preventing chronic diseases such as stroke, some types of cancer, type 2 diabetes, heart disease and high blood pressure.
The CDC has singled out Farm to School as part of a community based solution to the obesity epidemic and school yard gardens such as the CIS FirstSchool Gardens are a simple tool that addresses six of the eight contributing factors to obesity.
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