As concerns over childhood obesity prevail, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) data reveals that only about 25 percent of teenagers’ ages 12 to 15 are meeting federal fitness guidelines, specifically – an hour or more of moderate to vigorous activity every day.
The results released earlier this month are based on the self-reporting of 800 kids ages 3 to 15 who indicated their activity levels and had physical exams as part of the 2012 National Youth Fitness Survey. Experts say that limited amounts of daily physical activity are concerning, given the increasing number of obese and overweight children who are also diagnosed with diabetes.
In 2012, the CDC reported that the number teens with type 2 diabetes rose by 14 percent over the past decade, and estimates project that rates will increase by as much as 50 percent in children and teens over the next 40 years. The current rate of obesity among children ages 2 to 19 is 17 percent, or about 12.5 million obese kids.
Fitz Koehler, of Morning Mile and Fitzness.com, says physical activity, paired with a nutritious eating plan containing fruits, vegetables, lean proteins and healthy whole grains can significantly improve health outcomes for children and teens. “Teaching them to take proactive steps to maintaining a healthy lifestyle is key. Schools can also get involved by aligning with organizations that compliment these ideas and use the resources available to them.”
Click here for resources on helping fight obesity.