My thinking changed when I took on writing a book app intended to improve kid’s nutrition habits. My publisher wanted me to do a second book app in my BRAVE ROONEY series and, because I’m such a health nut, I figured I could teach kids about nutrition while they mostly had fun. As I started to research kid’s nutrition and interviewed a few dieticians, I became increasingly aware that Childhood Obesity is a problem that can’t be ignored. It poses a bigger challenge to our society than I could imagine – involving both young and old. I was first shocked to learn that one in every three children (ages 2 – 19) is overweight or obese, and that it costs $19,000 extra per child when comparing lifetime medical costs to those of an average weight child, according to an analysis conducted by researchers at the Duke Global Health Institute.
One thing I learned from the endless Affordable Care Act media coverage – whether it be from the Democratic or Republican side — was how closely connected everyone’s healthcare is, and there are real limits to the amount of available financial resources that can go toward keeping us all healthy. The brutal truth is: an overweight kid scarfing down his second bag of potato chips might soon prevent someone older from having a life-saving MRI.
With each new damaging fact I learned about Childhood Obesity, I became a proselyte, mostly because the fix seems to be so easy. All parents need to do is change some shopping and meal preparation habits and get their kids moving. I’m no psychologist, but I’d bet there are countless ways to influence kids to exercise more and to avoid fast food when it’s possible. Another thing I learned was the importance of family, and how eating (and preparing) more meals together can help reduce Childhood Obesity.