Nutrition & Wellness

Nutrition and wellness is important yet sometimes a forgotten part of a healthy lifestyle. Over the past three decades, childhood obesity rates in America have tripled, and nearly one in three children in America are overweight or obese. The numbers are even higher in African American and Hispanic communities, where nearly 40% of the children are overweight or obese. If we don’t address this issue one third of all children born after 2000 will suffer from diabetes at some point in their lives.

Physical activity is an essential component of a healthy lifestyle. In combination with healthy eating, it can help prevent a range of chronic diseases, including heart disease, cancer, and stroke, which are the three leading causes of death. Physical activity helps control weight; builds lean muscle; reduces fat; promotes strong bone, muscle and joint development; and decreases the risk of obesity. Children need 60 minutes of play with moderate to vigorous activity each day to maintain a healthy weight.

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If this sounds like a lot, consider that 8 Р18-year-old adolescents spend an average of 7.5 hours a day using entertainment media including TV, computers, video games, cell phones and movies in a typical day, and only one-third of high school students get the recommended levels of physical activity. To increase physical activity, today’s children need safe routes to walk and bike to school, parks, playgrounds and community centers where they can play after school, and activities like sports, dance or fitness programs that are exciting and challenging enough to keep them engaged.

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