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National Epidemic

Childhood obesity has more than tripled in the last 30 years, according to the Centers of Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Obesity in the young predisposes them to potential health risks such as heart disease, high cholesterol, and diabetes. These are just the immediate side effects, in the long term, they can develop “stroke, various cancers, and osteoarthritis.” (CDC) As a society, prevention is key in controlling these future health risks.

A recent study has found that the measure of body mass index (BMI) is questionable in distinguishing what is healthy and not healthy weight. BMI uses the height and weight of a person to determine body fat. This study published in the journal of PLoS One, uses the ratio of fat against lean muscle mass. With this being said, the object of our exercise and diet programs should address the building of lean muscle.

Cardio workout and flexibility training are essential for developing healthy bodies, however, we need to feed our bodies to meet all daily requirements. Remember, the basic nutrients for our bodies include water, carbohydrates, proteins, fats, vitamins and minerals. Addressing the obesity issue has to come from prioritizing what we eat and how we exercise. Teaching our young people these priorities by example is essential, now more than ever.

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