What good is an academic education if your lifestyle is causing you to experience not only a lesser quality of life but a shorter life as well? To say that a good portion of the population in the United States has gotten fat and lazy is an understatement. As more and more adults live a sedentary lifestyle that includes treating every meal like an all you can eat buffet, we have become a super-sized nation that appears to be eating our way to early deaths.
When a person is overweight, just for starters, it increases their chance of having heart disease, diabetes, and even some types of cancer. Rather than face a lifetime of health issues because of something that is totally avoidable with a bit of will power and knowledge, obesity needs to be categorized as a threat to mankind just like smoking has been in the last couple of decades.
What Does This Have to Do With Students in the Classroom?
The adult population is nearing 40 percent in obesity. This does not even take into account the people that are merely just overweight. In total, about 70 percent of adults are carrying around the unflattering extra weight in the United States.
In turn, parents are passing down their health and fitness problems on to their kids. According to the American Heart Association, about one-third of kids are overweight or obese in America. Go back in time to 1963 where only about ten percent of kids were in this group, you can see that if things continue the way they are going, it will just be a few more years before fifty percent of all kids are carrying around extra weight.
And there is another trend to be aware of. Kids that are overweight will turn into adults that are overweight. The majority of people continue their lifestyle problems instead of fixing them over time. In a society where both kids and adults alike enjoy binging Netflix and eating chips while drinking soda on a nightly basis, a health and fitness revolution needs to be taken seriously.
If parents are not going to educate their children on how to stay fit and healthy, it is just something else that needs to be passed down to us educators to take care of. This might mean that the educators themselves need to quite possibly look in the mirror and fix their own problems with obesity.
It takes more than a politician trying to change the school lunch menu to make a difference with students’ health and fitness. It needs to be taught at every grade level throughout school. Kids should be taught to count calories, macros, and fat content for every meal. Eating healthy and exercising should be a way of life for the next generation. As a father who is wrapped around the finger of his five-month-old daughter, you can be certain that eating in moderation and exercising on a daily basis is something that will be taught early and often.
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