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The obesity epidemic in the United States has many struggling with their health, self-esteem, and overall quality of life. But new research indicates that tackling the problem of childhood obesity may be the first priority in solving this health issue. KSMU's Benjamin Fry reports.
Telling your children they are overweight is something that is hard for most parents.
But research shows that those who ignore the signs are only contributing to a troubling reality for today's youth.
Stephen Hall is the Spokesman for American Heart Association.
He says one out of three children in the U.S. is considered obese.
"If those trends continue, we are facing the first generation of the history of this country that is not expected to outlive their parents. And that is a very, very sad reality"
With the rise of childhood obesity, Hall says doctors are seeing more cases of diseases previously unheard of in children, such as Type-2 diabetes.
Parents bear special responsibility in ensuring a healthy diet in youngsters.
But Hall admits today's fast-paced work environment can make this goal harder to achieve.
"As our lifestyles continue to get busier and busier, children are often times not eating the right foods. They're doing what's convenient. They're snacking."
To help parents out, the American Heart Association has helped form the Alliance for a Healthier Generation.
This group has developed myGo Healthy Challenge, an online tool used to educate kids on healthy living and offer fun alternatives to a sedentary lifestyle.
While this tool may be helpful, Hall says parents shouldn't forget their role in setting a healthy example.
"As parents we have a unique ability to inspire change in our kid's lives. So if we set a good example as parents oftentimes children will emulate those decisions that we make as adults and as guardians and as parents"
For more information, and a link to the myGo Healthy Challenge, you can visit our website at KSMU dot org.
For KSMU news, I'm Benjamin Fry.