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The Non-Parent

April 29, 2010

I recently wrote about how I am now a proud staff member of the Fresh from Florida Kids campaign.  I’m learning a lot about nutrition, health and “kid friendly food” as I get more and more into the program.  I don’t have a child of my own, but I support this cause and program 100%, especially after reading studies and articles on the topic.

It seems obvious why parents should want to learn more about childhood obesity and overcoming these health issues, but I’m kind of curious as to how many non-parents out there are aware of what’s going on. I’d like to think that most of the American public knows about this epidemic, but I really have no clue as to how informed everyone is. After all, I’m living in a bubble where the words “food” and “health” are part of my daily vocabulary at work.

So if you’re not too knowledgeable on the childhood obesity trend, here’s a few of the latest statistics and facts:

  • The number of overweight children has doubled in the past 30 years. It is now estimated that 1 in 5 children in the U.S. is overweight (source)
  • Obese children and adolescents are more likely to be obese as adults (source)
  • Obese children are more likely to have risk factors for cardiovascular disease, such as high cholesterol or high blood pressure. In a population-based sample of 5- to 17-year-olds, 70% of obese youth had at least one risk factor for cardiovascular disease (source)
  • “A rare study that tracked thousands of children through adulthood found the heaviest youngsters were more than twice as likely as the thinnest to die prematurely, before age 55, of illness or a self-inflicted injury” (source)

So what can we do as “non-parents” to help fight this epidemic? Stay tuned, I’ll have some tips in my next blog post! 🙂

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