Nine million kids are overweight in the U.S.

July 2nd, 2008 - 12:21 pm ICT by Amrit Rashmisrisethi  

An estimated 9 million children in the United States are overweight or obese. The costs to society of excess body weight are staggering.

Such as : Type 2 diabetes is a growing disease among children.

From 1979 to 1999, according to the Institute of Medicine, obesity-associated hospital costs for children and youth increased by 262 percent. Studies show overweight children are likely to become overweight adults, whose direct and indirect health care costs have climbed to $117 billion.
New York State is considering to set nutrition standards for children in school.

Setting nutrition and fitness standards are good steps , a more effective approach would be to combine health education.

Make school lunch programs reflect national nutritional guidelines: Don’t offer soda; provide skim- or low-fat milk; offer more fruits and vegetables. Continue to teach nutrition and good lifestyle behaviors in all classrooms, not just health, and use the physical education program to boost activity and measure fitness. Provide activities before, during and after school that encourage healthy, active lifestyles.

The basic model of wellness programs now found in many companies. An overweight employee or an employee who smokes is at risk for many diseases, including heart disease, diabetes and various forms of cancer. The medical costs to treat one smoker with a chronic illness like emphysema could bankrupt a small company.
It can be very difficult to change unhealthy habits in an adult. It is much easier to change these habits in children.

It is important to start young. Education in health and health care is deferred until late in middle school or even high school, when many kids have already established bad habits they will carry with them for the rest of their lives.

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