One out of every five toddlers is overweight. What are the implications? Infant car seats must be redesigned to safely accommodate heavier infants and toddlers. School uniforms and student desks have to be supersized to accommodate heavier youngsters. A number of clothing retailers have introduced lines for oversized teen girls.
Pediatricians are being trained to recognize the symptoms of adult-onset diabetes and stroke in their young patients. As part of this education, participants at the American Stroke Association's International Stroke Conference 2011 learned that “a marked increase in the rate of stroke was noted in children ages five to 14.”
Leaders promoting the Let’s Move campaign initiated by First Lady Michelle Obama are working in partnership with local communities to address the expanding problem of childhood obesity. To be effective, however, their efforts need to be reinforced by day-to-day actions in our homes. What positive steps can families take? Psychologist Howard Rankin, author of weight-loss and wellness books, says, "Especially for children, exercise is the key. Ensuring that your child gets up and moves around for five or ten minutes when playing video games or while playing on the computer is important."
Here are four more suggestions from researchers: