How to Help in the Fight Against Childhood Obesity?

Overweight is Devastating For Children

My friend, Francesca, grew up as an overweight child and it was really rough. She was bullied, limited by weight

How to Help in the Fight Against Childhood Obesity?
How to Help in the Fight Against Childhood Obesity?

to participate in school activities like cheerleading, and incredibly uncomfortable in her own skin. Now, her nephew, who is 10 years old, incredibly smart, a natural comic, talented, and an incredible little soul, like her family / his family, is also overweight. He doesn’t have the nutrition education and fitness knowledge that will inspire and encourage him to be healthy, nor do his parents value making changes to their eating and exercise habits. Francesca is a positive role model. She shares information and activities but, because she’s not in charge, she can only hope he makes the choice, as she did as a young adult to change, though her family did not.

Her nephew’s story is like many kids in our community who don’t have the resources it takes to change their lifestyles. We all know and/or teach children who are over-weight or obese. Our heart breaks as we see them uncomfortable, struggling, embarrassed, and rejected. We worry that they could soon be diagnosed as a pre-diabetic or worse, diagnosed as a diabetic. When we calculate the long-term cost – to confidence, skill mastery, relationships, self-esteem, health, and quality of life, we cannot just turn away. We are all responsible in fighting against childhood obesity and helping our children to be healthy.

Facts & Stats About Childhood Obestiy

In the United States, 22% of pre-school children are overweight and 10% are obese. See source.
Research shows that children may only spend about 2% to 3% of their time being moderately or vigorously active. See source.
Children who were overweight as preschoolers are five times more likely than their peers to be overweight at age 12. Sedentary and/or overweight children are often overwhelmed by emotion, academics and social interaction. Some are even clinically depressed. See source.
There are many barriers to daily opportunities for active play at home and at school. Families and schools share budget limitations and environmental safety concerns (e.g. violence, drug sales) inclement weather, parent work schedules, time and curricular constraints, as well as inadequate knowledge or training about how to lead and integrate active play into children’s daily routine. See source.

How Move with Me was Born?

I was moved to start producing movement story video classes as a way to help families use the TV and computer for affordable, fun, active play and instruction that kids can do anytime. Move with Me is my way of stepping forward and contributing a solution. I am inspired by organizations such as, Let’s Move and Partnership for a Healthier America, for leading a direct conversation about weight, health and nutrition and supporting programs, awareness and education.

How Can You Make a Difference?

You can make a difference with your votes. When you click the link below and select VOTE, you are saying that you care about implementing more movement and mindfulness programs for children to get the daily 90-120 minutes of supervised active play they need for optimal weight and development. All you have to do is click and vote  HERE.

Other Ways to Show You Care

In your own classrooms and communities, you can also:
1. Take it seriously. Do not be afraid to discuss health, weight, food, etc.
2. Find a time and place to talk with parents, family or friends who are overweight or have overweight kids. Come from love. Give support. Have helpful suggestions
3. Refer to statistics regarding the negative impact to help them see the big picture
4. Be a role model – in your actions, food choices, lifestyle
5. Introduce them to and include them in fun activities

  • Movement stories and exercise videos
  • Yoga & breathing
  • Indoor play such as dancing to musi,Wii Fit,Twister etc.
  • Outdoor play – at the park, or on the sidewalk – hopscotch, jump rope, etc.
  • Shopping, making and eating unprocessed foods, fresh fruits and veggies

6. Create support and play groups, plan community healthy lifestyle activities. Together we can and must change these statistics!

So, If you care and would like to show your support click to vote  HERE.

leah kalish- Yoga TeacherWritten by Leah Kalish

A recognized expert in movement education committed to nurturing children’s health and empowerment through imaginative play and yoga. A trainer, writer, speaker, she leads workshops and trainings nationwide while also developing new movement enrichment resources for kids, their parents and teachers.