Child & Teen Obesity – The Unfortunate New Norm

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As I was scrolling through Twitter, (a new challenge I’ve been undertaking) I came across a BBC News article on child and teen obesity that had been retweeted out that instantly held my attention. Researchers are calling obesity in young children and teens the “new norm.” The new norm? How depressing is that..

This article that BBC news published by Michelle Roberts, opens with the statistic that 124 million boys and girls across the world are “too fat.” With the highest obesity rates scaling in from Polynesia and Micronesia, two subregions of Oceania in the Pacific Ocean, East Asia’s numbers have been climbing as well. These increasing trends researchers are seeing in obesity across the world is growing and growing fast. They are even saying that if such trends continue, obesity rates will surpass underweight rates.

So. Moves for Change?

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Absolutely. Dr. Fiona Bull from the World Health Organization, or WHO has already begun this movement by promoting more physical activity and cutting back on calorie-dense and nutrient-poor foods. Her efforts have proved significant, as already 20 countries have placed a tax on drinks high in sugar. So what can we do to advocate for this movement? Well, first and foremost, we can practice what we preach. The initial step in implementing change is making sure those individuals implementing such changes are practicing healthy eating and exercise behaviors. Think about it. What child is going to listen to their parents or teachers who tell them to eat their fruits and vegetables daily, if they never see their role models eating these types of food themselves?

Preaching to the Choir

Perhaps voicing these concerns and hopes for improvement are redundant and perhaps it is easy for me to support organizations like WHO and advocate for better diet globally because I’ve been fortunate to grow up with healthy options and opportunities throughout my childhood, and even today, but I strongly believe that regardless of social class, economic status, etc., you have the potential to gear your life in the direction of health. The desire to change lies within. So lets get started.

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2 Comments on “Child & Teen Obesity – The Unfortunate New Norm

  1. Those stats are pretty sobering, and I like how you balance the info from the article with your own reflections about where to begin to reach children and make a change. The images and layout and links here also really make the post engaging… I am learning a lot from you this semester via Twitter and this site!

  2. Wow this article is really good but those statistics are really sad. It’s true that obesity rates are increasing all over the world. I actually was just watching a video about obesity in my psychology class and I find it really depressing that a majority of girls ages 12-15 are either worried about their weight or trying to diet. We definitely need more healthy snacks and recreational time during school.

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