Over the last 30 years, federal health officials say obesity rates have doubled in children and quadrupled among adolescents.
Currently in the U.S., 23 million children and adolescents are obese, a number that has alarmed medical experts. Obesity is known to lead to heart, disease, diabetes, asthma and other maladies.
John Morgan works on a Center For Disease Control grant on obesity prevention through the state Health Services Department. He says a key part of their strategy is getting young people started early with habits of good nutrition and plenty of exercise. “The recommended guidelines are for their kids to get 60 minutes of physical activity a day. If you break that into 10 minute doses, that would be six doses of physical activity each day.”
He says a majority of kids are spending at least three or more hours a day in front of a screen, with an additional two hours of TV time thrown in. Morgan says parents should make sure the kids have been physically active for at least 60 minutes each day before they settle in front of a screen.
September is National Childhood Obesity Month.