Thursday, May 27, 2010
Childhood obesity has become a national epidemic. More than 12 million kids are obese, over 23 million are overweight and these figures are increasing at an alarming rate.
One out of every 3 kids born today will develop diabetes. Type 2 Diabetes used to be considered an adult illness and is now commonly found in children. We've also reached a new low with cardiovascular disease occurring in teenagers.
All of this has happened in the last 30 years with (if you ask me) the help of our food industry, the corrupt, industry influenced USDA, and the "convenience" of fast and packaged foods.
I can remember getting home from school and not even taking the time to drop my backback before running off to fall out of a tree or permanently grass stain my school clothes! I had to be dragged into the house kicking and screaming to eat dinner. Snacking or sitting in front of the TV was never an issue. If the weather wasn't nice, I was sent to the playroom to rip and tear. I realize that I was probably a bit of an overactive child, I tend to a bit of an overactive adult, but I feel that our culture is becoming more stationary and it effects every age group.
I currently teach dance and movement to over 200 kids across NYC each week. I have children who become concerned when they begin to sweat and are winded after a 10 min warm up. Some times they are exhausted to the point of having to sit down and rest. I even had a little girl tell me she was having a heart attack the other day because she could feel her heart beating!
All of this saddens me deeply.
I love the new "Let's Move" initiative that Michelle Obama has started nation wide. I'm currently doing some research because I'm inspired to find a way to get involved. Here's the link. Check it out! Give me a "holla" if you want to brainstorm with me on how to jump in!
Joanie Johnson, HC