According to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, one in three children in the United States are either overweight or obese. That is a shocking statistic and shines a light on an alarming trend. September is Childhood Obesity Awareness Month, a period of time to discuss the issues behind the epidemic and the risks it poses for the health of our children.
The Impacts of Childhood Obesity
Let’s Move!, a comprehensive initiative launched by the First Lady, estimates that one third of children born after 2000 will suffer from diabetes, if we don’t begin to seriously address the obesity issue facing our society. Chronic obesity also puts these children at a significantly higher risk of heart disease, high blood pressure, cancer, and asthma as they age.
The Reasons for Childhood Obesity
As a culture, our lifestyles have changed significantly over the past 30 years. Our children used to walk to and from school each day, actively play in gym class, participate in after-school sports programs, and play in the neighborhood until they were called in for dinner. However, now car or bus rides have replaced early morning walks, gym and after-school sports programs have often been cut due to budget restrictions, and video game consoles have replaced bicycles.
As our children’s activity levels have plummeted in the technology age, the calorie counts of standard diets have skyrocketed. Overall, Americans are eating 31% more calories than forty years ago, according to Let’s Move!.
The Battle Against Childhood Obesity
As adults, when we want to lose weight, we often hit the gym with a wild intensity for a month or so, before we lose our ambitious gusto and find the couch once again. We have an opportunity with our children. By engaging children in regular physical activity from the earliest possible ages, we engrain these healthy habits into their normal lifestyles. We teach them to play actively and enjoy physical activity.
Many sports operate seasonally; swim lessons are the best way to keep your child moving year-round and introduce active play into your child’s everyday life. While the full-body exercise burns substantial calories, swimming provides children with a fun and safe environment to build strength, develop skills, and most importantly, play. Follow this link to read more about the lifelong benefits of childhood swim lessons.
As children get older, they experience even more distractions to keep them sedentary. Children between the ages of eight and eighteen years old spend an average of 7.5 hours each day using some form of entertainment media, such as video games, computers, television, smart phones, and other technology. When you ignite a passion for being in the pool, children look forward to disconnecting from their electronics and are more likely to live in the moment.
Enrolling your child in lifelong swim lessons can help keep him or her healthy throughout life. Premier Aquatics Services is currently enrolling all age group in our fall swim programs. Click here to learn more about the Premier Aquatic’s year-round swim lesson programs.
In recognition of Childhood Obesity Awareness Month, Premier Aquatics is extending a September Stay and Play offer to anyone who takes swim lessons at our Aliso Viejo location. Come in early or stay after your lesson to enjoy even more physical playtime in the pool, free of charge.
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