The challenge of child obesity — for adults

About one in five kids in the U.S. is obese, which carries not only current health problems but a greater risk of issues like diabetes and heart disease later in life. Early intervention is key, particularly as kids are less set in their ways than adults, so it’s easier to change their behaviors and teach them new concepts.

Yet children don’t have the power over their lives, decisions, and lifestyles that adults have (parents and adults make many decisions for them and have the power to enforce certain behaviors).

Social institutions have more impact on kids than on adults (like church, YMCA, and especially school — including school lunch programs, mandatory gym classes, possible nutritional education, etc.).

Given all the factors, what’s the best way to go about reducing childhood obesity?  Who  should lead the charge? Have you seen strategies that work, first-hand?

Clearly, this is a complex issue that needs collective wisdom to address. Join the discussion about childhood obesity and ask questions to health leaders on the issue at the new interactive website, challenges.tedmed.com.

Note to parents: The Strategies to Overcome and Prevent (STOP) Obesity Alliance and Alliance for a Healthier Generation recently released “Weigh In: Talking to Your Children About Weight and Health,” a research-based online guide that helps prepare parents for tough conversations about weight and health with their kids. View the guide at www.WeighInOnObesity.com.