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Facing the Facts

It’s easy to question where we went wrong-why more than one third of children and adolescents in the United States are either overweight or obese, why this statistic has more than tripled in the past 30 years, and why we didn’t see it coming.

Over the past 30 years, a lot has changed, contributing to these alarming statistics. Fast food restaurants on almost every street corner sell hamburgers for just a little over one dollar, attracting our youth and encouraging deadly dietary habits. For parents, it’s much easier to pick up a “family-sized” meal on the way home from work than to put the time into cooking a healthy, balanced meal. Everything about fast food is easy, but is it worth the overwhelming number of health risks?

With obesity comes more than just weight issues- paired with an unhealthy diet and lack of physical activity, it can lead to cardiovascular disease, bone and joint problems, high blood pressure, dental cavities, iron deficiency, osteoporosis, and emotional issues such as depression, anxiety and obsessive-compulsive disorder. At one time, these medical complications generally only affected adults, but they are now becoming common problems among adolescents.

While poor eating and minimal physical activity can cause devastating health issues that could potentially last a lifetime, proper nutrition and exercise can help reverse the damage. By simply making smarter and healthier dietary choices, the risks associated with obesity and overweight will reduce.

It’s never too late to make a change. The best way to reward our bodies for all that they do for us is to develop healthy habits and positive mindsets. Our goal is devoted to making these changes, one community at a time.

Source: http://www.cdc.gov/healthyyouth

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