- May 22, 2013
- Jennifer Salerno
President Barack Obama issued a proclamation declaring May National Physical Fitness and Sports Month. In that proclamation he calls on all Americans to make daily physical activity, sports participation and good nutrition a priority in their lives.
This makes May the perfect time for teens and families to get outside, move and decrease obesity! You don’t have to be the star quarterback or the record breaking track star. How about trying to find a way to decrease screen time and see who can do the most push-ups or leg lifts during a commercial break? Take the dog for a walk or get some friends together to play a game of basketball. Physical activity can help build lean muscle, reduce fat, and promote strong bone, muscle and joint development. Equally as important, physical activity can help prevent obesity. This is a growing concern for today’s teens.
According to the American Obesity Association, about 30.4 percent of teenagers are overweight, and 15.5 percent of teens are obese. The CDC states that childhood obesity has more than doubled in children and tripled in adolescents in the past 30 years.
The American Obesity Association identifies the concerns parents have regarding teen obesity:
- – 12 percent of parents feel their children are overweight
- – 78 percent feel that P.E. classes should not be removed from school curriculum
- – 27 percent of parents feel teens today eat less nutritiously than they did
- – 24 percent of today’s parents feel teens get less physical exercise
Even if teens are reluctant to get moving, they will notice if parents do.
Although physical activity is one way to beat obesity, there are many other ways that teens can manage it. Try changing eating habits like eating slowly and developing a routine. Planning your meals is another option. Eat as a family instead of while watching television or at the computer! Get some other ideas on the Let’s Move website.
What can we do for teens to help make the healthy choice, the easy choice?