My childhood was nothing like my children's childhood today. While we begged to stay out and play until the streetlights came on, parents struggle today to even get their kids to go outside. Living in Colorado where hiking, skiing, biking or anything outdoors is commonplace, it is hard to believe we would have problems getting our children involved in physical activities. Despite the notion of being physically fit, our state is suffering.
Colorado ranks 24th in the country for kids physical activity despite being one of the healthiest states for adults. How is this possible? What's going on and what can we as parents and involved adults do to change this?
For one, we can acknowledge and accept there is a problem. Secondly, we can realize that all the activities mentioned above are not accessible to all children within the state. There is no surprise that children that look like mine are more likely to not have access to well-equipped parks and healthy food options at stores in their neighborhoods. Those are direct links to childhood obesity and we are here to change that.
The NoMore24 campaign aims to increase Colorado's awareness of childhood obesity and make changes in our schools, homes and neighborhoods. At home, we need to encourage our kids to go outside, play in nearby parks and ride bikes and scooters.
In schools, we need to have make exercise a fun activity like having class outside. Last week my son's science teacher had class outside and the kids named the different insects and geese along with grass and trees. They loved it and the fresh air and running around was less about exercise and more ecucational fun.
PE needs to be a staple back in our schools like it was when we were kids. My son is also taking a fitness class and this is more than once a week so he is getting at least 30 minutes of exercise three times a week.
More needs to be done to end childhood obesity for all Colorado kids. Our kids need opportunities to live healthy lives because it shouldn't depend on their zip codes or their ethnicity.
Please sign the pledge No More 24 to end childhood obesity and to put all kids first.
Are you in? Childhood obesity ends with you.