Childhood Obesity: A Global Problem
With nearly 12,000 online conversations about childhood obesity that can be documented and tracked, it is true that the United States is the global awareness leader on the subject. In comparison to other First World nations, the US has 10 times the amount of conversation on the internet about this threat to the future of healthcare in our world. When compared to other subject material, however, childhood obesity falls well short.
How short? It will shock you to see what people find to be really important.
The Olympic Games Gets 1000 Times the Attention of Childhood Obesity
With over 13 million online conversations about the Olympic Games, the 15,000 total conversations about childhood obesity seem to pale in comparison. In the United States alone, the Olympics are 1000 times more popular to talk about than childhood obesity. Even the new Call of Duty video game receives 50 times the attention that childhood obesity does! Think about that in terms of overall priorities – a video game that will become obsolete within a year is more important for people to talk about than a child who could die early because of obesity related disease.
The AMA Has Classified Obesity As a Disease Too
Maybe the reason why people don’t want to talk about childhood obesity is because there is a negative stigma associated with being fat. After years of study, the American Medical Association decided that obesity should be classified as a disease because being overweight can change the way the body communicates with itself. That change makes it difficult to lose weight, despite the best intentions of those who are overweight.
Because obesity is listed as a disease, the hope is that it will open up more treatment options for those kids who are obese right now. From early education about healthy foods to medical options to help reduce weight, having these resources available to kids through the Affordable Care Act could be the key to turning around childhood obesity.
Childhood Activity Campaigns Look To Help As Well
Research has shown that kids who get 60 minutes of play time every day where they are active and moving have a much lower risk of suffering from obesity. For that reason, many campaigns are encouraging kids to get out and play, including the NFL’s Play 60 campaign. Rather than live a completely sedentary lifestyle, the focus isn’t on exercise – it’s on having fun with family and friends outside.
The epidemic of childhood obesity isn’t going to go away. As evidenced by online conversations, we can try to ignore the problem that childhood obesity could bring, but that won’t change the fact that it is there. By taking proactive measures to encourage activities, eating awareness, and better overall health choices, today’s kids can become the next Olympians that so many people want to talk about online.
It must start today.