In Arkansas, the highest obesity risk among females was found in African Americans (45 percent) followed closely by Hispanic females (44 percent).
Native American females had an obesity risk of 38 percent, while 34 percent of White females, and 25 percent of Asian females were classified as obese or overweight.1
For kindergartners, 33 percent entered the school system either obese or overweight. The percentage of students who were obese or overweight increased to 35 percent for second-graders, to 40 percent for those in the fourth grade, and peaked at 44 percent with the sixth grade class.1
If we don’t solve this problem, one-third of all children born in 2000 or later will suffer from diabetes
and many others may face chronic obesity-related health problems like heart disease, high blood pressure, cancer and asthma. In addition to suffering from poor physical health, overweight and obese children can often be targets of early social discrimination.2
The psychological stress of social stigmatization can lower self-esteem, which can hinder academic and social functioning, and persist into adulthood.
The good news is that by making just a few lifestyle changes, we can help our children lead healthier lives. Eating together as a family and surrounding them with healthier options leaves them no choice but to eat better foods like fruits and vegetables, consume less sugar and fat, eat healthier snacks and watch portion size. Physical activity is an essential component of a healthy lifestyle. Physical activity helps control weight, builds lean muscle, reduces fat, promotes strong bone, muscle, and joint development, and decreases the risk of obesity.2
Camp iRock will instill the campers with tools that promote healthy eating habits, physical activity and self-confidence. These tools can last a lifetime.
1. Arkansas Center for Health Improvement, Assessment of Childhood and Adolescent Obesity
in Arkansas: Year Seven (Fall 2009-Spring 2010), Little Rock, AR: ACHI, December 2010