Kids Who Play Sports are Less Likely to be Overweight as Adults

National Childhood and Obesity month (September) is just a week away. To help start building awareness around an important issue we’ll be sharing resources such as this post, to help keep your kids active and healthy.

What may be the two healthiest things kids can do today to ensure a healthier adulthood? Eat more vegetables and play sports. That’s right. Eating healthier foods, getting active, and maintaining a healthy weight when young can prevent a lifetime of weight-related problems.

According to the American College of Sports Medicine, children whose parents are overweight or obese have a greater chance of being overweight or obese themselves. Overweight children and adolescents are more likely to become obese adults – and have overweight kids themselves, continuing the cycle. Right now, more than 30% of kids in the U.S. are overweight or obese, and obesity rates among children are growing.

Youngsters who struggle with their weight are more likely to develop type 2 diabetes, heart disease, high cholesterol, hypertension, sleep apnea, and orthopedic problems when they grow up. In fact, many obese children suffer from these diseases before they ever reach adulthood.

If you have kids or work with kids, you can help reverse this trend through education and encouragement. In 2010, recognizing that our country needed to combat the obesity epidemic, First Lady Michelle Obama launched a national initiative called “Let’s Move,” with the goal of raising healthier children. In addition to teaching kids about healthy foods and making healthier choices more readily available, we can encourage them to join a sports team and get outside and play.

Whether it’s a game of catch in the neighborhood, Frisbee in the park, organized sports or bike riding with the family, including exercise in your family routine can make an enduring difference in your child’s health (and your own). They key is making exercise part of our everyday lifestyle. If we can make these differences today, our kids will grow up to be healthier adults.

Do you or your child struggle with being overweight? What changes are you making as a family to get healthier? We welcome your questions and feedback in the comments section below.

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