The World Health Organization recently found that at least 41 million children around the world age 5 and younger are obese or overweight. Worldwide, childhood obesity is up 25 percent from three decades ago. In the United States, childhood obesity has doubled in the past 30 years.
Children who are obese or overweight have a higher risk of developing cardiovascular disease, diabetes, high blood pressure, bone and joint problems, sleep apnea, and social and psychological problems. In the long term, obesity also increases the risk of developing many types of cancer, such as bladder and kidney cancer.
Many doctors, such as Dr. Erin Frazier in Louisville, ask parents to help their children lose weight or avoid becoming overweight. The American College of Sports Medicine ranked Louisville the fifth unhealthiest city in America. The city suffers disproportionately childhood high obesity rates and, according to this video, 18 percent of the city's children starting kindergarten are considered obese or overweight.
Parents can help their children develop healthy habits. By eating healthy and staying active themselves, parents can set a good example and teach their children the importance of living a healthy lifestyle. Doctors also encourage parents to cook with their children and serve reasonably sized portions.
Sources: Center for Disease Control, World Health Organization, WLKY News