Dr. Michael Omidi examines some of the latest techniques being employed to combat childhood obesity.
It is expected that for the first time in the history of the United States that the current youngest generation is expected to have a lifespan that is shorter than that of their parents. This shortened lifespan is predominately caused by childhood obesity, which has skyrocketed in recent decades.
If you read the news at all you have no doubt seen the startling statistics, the studies showing about 17% of children are obese and even more are overweight. But what can we do to combat childhood obesity? Obviously exercise and healthy eating are imperative to curbing this epidemic, but there are new methods and treatments for achieving these goals that I want to take a look at today. Here are some of these treatments and methods.
- A new children’s magazine called ChopChop is aimed at empowering children to eat and even cook healthy foods in an effort to reduce the rate of childhood obesity. The magazine hopes to achieve this goal by encouraging children to get involved in what they eat and encourage their parents to cook more meals instead of racing out to the local fast food chain. Learn more about the magazine by visiting the ChopChop website.
- Efforts in the city of Philadelphia have helped produce a 4.7% decline in childhood obesity rates from the 2006-07 to 2009-10 school years. These efforts have included assemblies that involve small-group brainstorming that encourage the students to think of innovative ways to bring healthy change to their schools, as well as serving healthy lunches of wraps and baked chips. Additional measures include banned soda machines, lunch menus with whole grains, school wellness councils that educate parents, and fruit and vegetable tastings. Despite being an economically disadvantaged city with 26% of the population living in poverty in 2011, the city and its school districts have still managed to decrease childhood obesity using some of these methods.
- According to the American Health Association social media has been proving effective in fighting childhood obesity. Internet-based interventions are being used to improve eating habits, lose weight, and increase physical activity. With 95% of children age 12 to 17 using the Internet, this method is proving to be highly effective, especially since it provides an anonymous way for teens and children to discuss their weight issues on forums and find solutions.
Children’s Obesity Fund, which was co-founded by my brother Julian Omidi and I, not only provides resources to help children achieve weight loss but also utilizes the Internet to help kids and parents get involved in the fight.
By using these new methods we hope to reduce childhood obesity substantially in the coming years so that our children have the opportunity that the generations before them have been afforded; to live longer healthier lives than their parents.