Childhood obesity is a growing problem and the only working solution is for parents and adults to make the choice to activate fitness and health in kids. We grownups are the ones who have to do this for kids until they are able to make healthy choices for themselves. It is no different from many of the other choices we make for them because we do not feel they are old enough or mature enough to grasp the full meanings and possible consequences of some of those choices.
It should also be grownups leading the way, as we are truly the responsible parties for allowing children to become as unfit and at risk for serious health problems as they are when the suffer from obesity. We are teaching children to lead lives of poor health and fitness twofold, first by leading inactive lifestyles ourselves, by allowing television and video games to monopolize time that children should be spending active.
Parents have to place limits on the amount of TV, video games, computer, and other inactive pastimes they give permission to their kids to pursue. Replace them with pursuits that require physical exertion to accomplish. Parents should introduce children to a wide range of physical activities for them to become involved in and to activate fitness for them. Most schools and/or school districts offer a variety of different sports for children to become involved in, and if soccer, softball or other such "typical" sports do not interest your child, what about dance classes or swimming.
Schools should consider opening gymnasium doors on weekends so that kids can continue to be active. If that means asking parents of students to help supervise the students while gym equipment and space is in use, so be it. Institute fitness challenge breaks when shifting between courses taught and have students challenge each other to see who can do the most jumping jacks or other exercises in a 2-minute period. Provide kids with daily fitness and health tips they can use to activate fitness for health within themselves.
Activate fitness for healthy kids outreach programs should be occurring in every community across the country. They should happen as often as possible to ensure that all kids receive the important message about getting active and the tools they need for fitness and health. The health problems kids suffer as of a result of being unfit and unhealthy have consequences for everyone, even adults without children. We have to pay the rising costs of the health care services needed to treat these problems which places a heavy strain on our economy. Parents, teaching professionals, and members of the community can band together to find other ways to activate fitness for health in kids.
As a nation, we should hold the manufacturers of products that encourage children to be inactive to be more responsible by not marketing their products to children but rather market them to adults who have the age and maturity to balance inactive pursuits with active pursuits. Kids are a huge market that these manufacturers can easily tap into for massive annual sales and profits. However, just because it is easy to entice kids into wanting these products and to plead with parents to buy them does not mean it is right to do so. We need to start holding corporate America responsible for their part in childhood obesity.
Getting kids active is only one part of the solution. Kids also need high-quality nutritious foods to fuel their newly active bodies. They should find healthy food choices at home, school, and the places where kids like to hang out. Nutritious food should be readily available to them, while "junk" food should be something that is less attainable. As it stands now kids have far easier access to foods that do nothing to promote fitness or health. This will only change when we grownups start demanding change. Let us all join in a loud collective voice and demand the changes needed. Activate fitness for health in kids today.