HOT TOPIC: Nutrition
Volume 3, Issue 9 - November 5, 2006

"With the overhaul of the food pyramid, government agencies and private corporations are undertaking a renewed effort to make wellness a priority for our nation’s children. Once identified in middle and high school curricula as a more in-depth, higher level health topic, we now realize the earlier we can get information to children the better chance we have of impacting the habits and attitudes of our next generation of adults.

Obesity has reached epidemic proportions, suggesting an onset of fat-related diseases in the 21st century if something is not done. Experts have confirmed that obesity, diabetes and heart disease are spreading to the developing world, even in regions suffering from malnutrition. Research suggests that in some parts of Africa, fatness and obesity is more common than malnutrition. In the U.S., sixty percent of adults and thirteen percent of children are obese.

The American Obesity Association reports that almost 30 percent of parents said that they are "somewhat" or "very" concerned about their children's weight. In comparing their own childhood health habits to their children's, 27 percent of parents said their children eat less nutritiously, and 24 percent said their children are less physically active. In fact, 61 percent of parents said that it would be either "not very difficult" or "not at all difficult" to change their eating and/or physical activity patterns if it would help prevent obesity in any of their children. Schools can be great allies to parents in making this change for their children.

In an age where fast food and low activity levels have become more predominant, battling this tendency towards obesity is critical. Today’s educational resources target students as early as kindergarten and offer opportunities for a personalized, custom-tailored examination of food intake and exercise. No, not everyone is genetically predisposed to be thin, but everyone should be able to make good choices that maximize their chance for a healthy life.

This week’s D12 offerings provide you with more than a dozen of the best resources online for addressing nutrition and wellness."

©2005 Walter McKenzie

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