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Unfit For Life: The Plight Of Kids In America

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Submitted by MiaB

Recent research revealed that the United States and North America have a significant obesity problem based on a combination of poor dietary habits and inactivity.

Now, the experts are saying that many youngsters are basically a byproduct of an “unfit” society with one-third of American children being labeled as physically unfit according to a new study.

The study whose results were recently published in a popular youth medical magazine contends that while the trend is prevalent in both genders, boys seemed to be in better shape than girls and that older boys were more fit than younger ones. On the other hand, younger young girls were more fit than their older, adolescent “peers” and quite predictably, according to experts, heavier children were less physically fit than their slimmer counterparts.

The researches note that their main concern is that these children, accounting for one-third of the youth population fail to meet fitness standards and are on a road to poor (fitness) practices and potential related heath issues. And they emphasize the need for a solution, which they (the experts) define as a plan for getting kids more active.

They point out that staying in shape is key to maintaining healthy blood pressure and cholesterol levels and combating many chronic diseases. But, they are quick to reveal that since the 1980s there’s been a continuing and burgeoning trend toward more senentary children and toward overweight/obese American kids, many suffering from childhood diabetes and other illnesses. In fact, the estimated overall overweight youth population is slated of 15 percent of girls and boys between the ages of 6 and 19, with the overall youth population also being observed as significantly “larger” than it was years ago all due to lack of exercise.

During the recent study conducted experts looked at and measured blood pressure, hart rate, and rate of perceived exertion, which they determined by asking the children how hard they felt they were working. And, heart-rate readings during the three-minute periods of activity were a barameter used to estimate the amount of oxygen used by the body during the peak of exertion.

Overall, only about 65 percent of the children were judges as being physically fit.

Researchers found that fitness levels were greater in boys than in girls and in children who were of normal weight, as compared to those that were classified as overweight. Additonally, children who watched lots of television or engaged in hours of video games were less fit than those who were involved in some sort of sport, after-school activity, or enjoyed time outside.

With these observations experts concluded that youngsters NEED to be more involved in more quality after-school programs and activities that allow them to get some exercise. And, they add that kids need to be offered more physical education classes in school. Plus, they point out that children need to be active in their everyday lives, and suggest parents encourage their kids to spend more time outdoors, riding a bike, walking to the store or school, even helping mow the lawn or with the household chores such as gardening. But, they note that this will mean significant changes in the way our society and culture operated and how its organized, and that will take time…and that may mean a joint effort between parents and school.

They go on to emphasize that the links between inactivity and poor physically fitness are particularly threatening in light of the continually rising rate of childhood obesity in the United stated and most of the world. Not, to mention, they say, that American culture fosters such “bad” behavior by encouraging overeating and under-activity in many ways, including labor saving devices, smart marketing strategies, and a variety of easy to make and tasty processed foods accessible “affordably” and at most locations.

And, experts suggest an equally strong “counter-culture” that will promote the opposite just as vehemently and just as strongly. And they suggest starting at home, by making exercise and/or fitness a part of your daily routine. Plus, the add, communities need to collaborate to ensure that each offers recreational facilities that lend to turning off the TV and getting kids and their parents out to “play”.

Life News > Unfit For Life: The Plight Of Kids In America

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