Childhood obesity is a serious and growing epidemic. It cuts across all categories of race, ethnicity, family income and locale. For the first time in our history, American children may face a shorter expected lifespan than their parents. That is why the Corporation for National and Community Service has joined forces with the Department of Health and Human Services, the Presidentís Council on Physical Fitness and the First Ladyís Letís Move. initiative to address this important issue facing Americaís future as part of United We Serveís summer initiative, Letís Read. Letís Move.
Researchers have estimated that more than 12 million children and adolescents are obese, and more than 23 million are overweight. Alarmingly, the obesity problem is starting at an even earlier age. Researchers estimate that over 20 percent of children ages 2 to 5 are already obese or overweight, more than double the percentages of the past three decades. Over the same time the obesity rate for children ages 6 to 11 has also more than quadrupled Ė from 4.2 to 19.6 percent Ė and tripled for adolescents ages 12 to 19 Ė from 4.6 to 18.1 percent Ė over the past four decades.
Obese and overweight children:
Some populations are more likely to be obese or live in unhealthy environments than others. Blacks, Latinos, American Indians, people of lower-incomes, and those living in the southern part of the United States are all affected more by obesity than their peers.In turn, communities with high levels of poverty are also significantly less likely to have places where children can be physically active, such as parks, green spaces, and bikes paths and lanes. Many of these communities have access to half as many supermarkets as the wealthiest areas.
Solutions to this epidemic can be as simple as joining together to clean up a park, rehab a playground Ė or to encourage your kids, friends, co-workers, classmates, family members to take the Letís Read. Letís Move Summer Fitness Challenge! Join our team and commit to six weeks of healthy and active living. Get involved. Join the United We Serve team!
Learn more about the Let's Read. Let's Move Summer Fitness Challenge by visiting serve.gov/exercise.asp.
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Additional opportunities to serve include: