This segment of HH101 focuses on the issue of obesity among children
By Nakeasha Johnson

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Understanding the importance of diet as it relates to your health is directly related to your ability to thrive. Another component to your overall health that is just as importance is exercise. Childhood obesity rates have grown exponentially over the years. Being reactive instead of proactive is not helping our babies grow and develop properly. We have a duty to act with our children’s best interest in mind and not simply the convenience of our own lives.

CDC Statistics:
*Childhood obesity has more than doubled in children and tripled in adolescents in the past 30 years.
*The percentage of children aged 6–11 years in the United States who were obese increased from 7% in 1980 to nearly 18% in 2010.
*The percentage of adolescents aged 12–19 years who were obese increased from 5% to 18% over the same period.
*In 2010, more than one third of children and adolescents were overweight or obese.
Getting our children to be healthy and active isn’t as difficult as it seems. The key is your participation in the process. You cannot spend 10 hours in front of the television and think that your children will not do the same. You have to be active with your children and make it fun. The goal should be to have your child between the ages of 6-17 years old engaged in a physical activity for at least 60 minutes per day. Children ages 2-5 do not have a specified recommended amount of time for physical activity. The goal for children that age should simply be to engage in activities in spurts throughout the day.  


Activity Ideas:
*If you children like video games, purchase games that involve a lot of movement like Just Dance, Kinect Sports, or Zumba for kids and play along with them. These types of games often have fitness or exercise modes as well.
*Try yoga. They have yoga dvd’s for children that are easy on the adults as well. This will help your children stretch, get active, introduce them to meditation, and help mommy or daddy stretch for the beginning of their fitness journey also.
*Turn on the radio and just dance together! My children do this almost every day. As soon as they hear music, my living room becomes the dance floor. They even have dance battles between all 3 of them.
*For less than $30.00 at discount stores, you can create obstacle course races for your children with small prizes
Get creative! There are some many options for activities that you can do with your children. The main thing is to understand the importance of getting active. You are the example for your children and every day is a new opportunity for change. All you have to do is take the first step.

-Nakeasha Johnson(@NakeashaJ)