There’s no denying that childhood obesity is becoming a bigger and bigger problem. An alarming study by Olshansky et al., 2005 reports that the current generation of children may have shorter life expectancies than their parents for the first time in over two centuries. The rapid rise in childhood obesity in America may shorten children’s lifespan by two to five years. Almost one-third of children between the ages of two and nineteen years are overweight and 17% of those are classified as obese!
Being overweight or obese can be a serious health concern for both adults and children. Overweight and obesity are generally defined as having excess body weight for a particular height measured by Body Mass Index (BMI). Children who are 10-20% over the appropriate weight for their height are considered to be overweight, and children who are more than 20% over their ideal weight are classified as obese.
With this problem in mind, I was urged to find out what exactly are the best steps in order to reverse this problem. I was pleasantly surprised by how closely Foley’s daily schedule mirrors those recommended steps. www.livestrong.com states providing nutritious meals with fruits and vegetables as the number one recommendation. Ensuring children get at least 60 minutes of exercise, limit TV viewing, and setting a good example from adult role models are the following three recommendations for curbing obesity.
Let’s put that into the perspective of camp. Fresh fruit and vegetables are served in our kitchen every day and our campers are encouraged to eat at least one portion at every meal. With over 30 activities to choose from, kids get their 60 minutes per day of exercise in abundance! Adult role models in the form of Counselors, Directors, and Assistant Directors who offer support, and also eat the same healthy menu that is served to our campers! This positive role-modeling goes a long way to influence children to make healthy eating and exercise choices.
– Ricky Searson, Assistant Director