To Solve Obesity Problem, We Need To Start With The Children

I bet you’re thinking to yourself — enough already with the obesity topic! Well, there’s a reason I harp so much about obesity; it’s because, despite all that’s been written about obesity and its consequences, it’s getting worse. Obesity threatens not only our personal health, but the health of our society. The consequences of obesity results in 300,000 premature deaths a year from such chronic diseases as diabetes, heart disease, hypertension and cancer.

While we’ve made great strides in curbing another scourge to society, cigarette smoking, obesity rates continue to grow at an alarming rate. Given current trends, the latest studies predict that half of Americans will be obese by 2030, resulting in $500 billion in healthcare costs and lost productivity. If we are going to make any headway in preventing this disease, we must target the country’s youngest and increasingly heaviest citizens: children.

Before we can tackle the problem, parents must first acknowledge that obesity is a disease.

A new survey released today by Children’s Mercy Hospitals and Clinics in Kansas City shows that more parents would find it “very important” to seek medical care for a child with diabetes symptoms (81%), asthma (80%) or a learning disability (74%), whereas only 54% of parents feel the same approach is needed for a child who is overweight. 

Nearly all parents say they would seek medical attention for a condition that would limit their child’s life expectancy (94%) or impact his or her future health care costs (93%). Obese children have both immediate and future health problems, such as hypertension, heart disease and diabetes.

Other key findings of the survey included: few parents are supportive of extreme interventions for overweight children, including weight loss surgery (5%), medication (16%) or removal from their parents’ custody (6%), and more parents support moderate interventions such as outpatient treatment programs (51%).

Parents are supportive of proposed regulations that:

  • Require healthy options in all public places that have vending machines (81%).
  • Require that health insurance companies cover obesity treatment (77%).
  • Require sidewalks in all neighborhoods (76%).
  • Strengthen regulations on food marketing to kids (73%).
  • Control locations of fast food restaurants (for example, limiting placement near schools) (60%).
  • Tax foods such as potato chips and sweets (39%).
  • Full results of the survey can be found here or on the Children’s Mercy website.

Parents clearly recognize that there is an issue and that they can have an impact on combating obesity. Now is time for parents to set a healthy example and work with both physicians and schools to encourage a healthy lifestyle that includes physical activity, healthy habits and nutritious food. Our country is at the crossroads of a major healthcare crisis that is affecting the quality of life for Americans and, increasingly, our economy. Investing healthcare dollars into programs that prevent and better manage chronic diseases have been shown to improve lives and lower costs. Let’s get busy!

References:

[Photo By Mike Licht, NotionsCapital.com]

Subscribe today!

  • This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.

Must Read

U.S. citizen detained overnight by ICE – they thought he was undocumented

Victor Landa July 6, 2017

By Victor Landa, NewsTaco (1.5 minute read)  This is startling news. Up until last night at a dinner conversation I believed that the idea that an American citizen would be […]

The moment Florida cops pull over an Afro-Latina and find she’s the State Attorney

Victor Landa July 13, 2017

By Victor Landa, NewsTaco Patrol cops in  Orlando, Florida, stopped a white sedan recently becasue they ran the tags and didn’t get a return, plus, the tint on the windows […]

Vietnam War veteran fears he could be deported

Victor Landa July 7, 2017

*This Vietnam veteran, born in Mexico, was awarded two Purple Hearts and given U.S. citizenship after his service. He’s misplaced his documents and after paying $345 the government wants more […]

Ted Cruz gets an earful in McAllen for July 4

Victor Landa July 5, 2017

*I’m posting this because it was mostly Latinos, organizing, protesting, making their voices heard. Everyone needs to know that Latinos in deep South Texas are standing up. VL By Patrick […]

Henry Cisneros: Why Can’t Americans See Latinos Are Country’s ‘Saving Grace’?

Victor Landa July 7, 2017

*Good question. I think it’s because we’re not the ones telling our story. We need to fight for our narrative. VL By Suzanne Gamboa, NBC News (1.5 minute read)  SAN […]

Remembering Gus Garcia, Mexican-American Civil Rights Pioneer

Victor Landa July 27, 2017

By Raul A. Reyes, NBC News (7.5 minute read)   In his heyday, Gus Garcia cut a dashing figure in Texas legal and social circles. He was a key member […]

Cornbread: A Texas Mexican Recipe

Victor Landa June 30, 2017

What is NewsTaco? NewsTaco provides innovative and insightful news, critique, analysis and opinion from a Latino perspective in a 24-hour world. We value feedback from our readers, feel free to […]

Texas High Schoolers Rise Against Anti-Immigrant SB 4 Law

Victor Landa July 15, 2017

By Viri Sanchez and Karla Quinones  (2.5 minute read) Four months ago, on February 16, thousands of high school students across Texas joined in a collective effort to stand up […]