I had the opportunity to attend the Childhood and Adolescent Weight Management Certificate Program in Indianapolis last week. It had been a goal of mine for the last couple of years to attend that program when it was closer to where I live. They offer the 3 day program twice a year and they rotate the sights all over the country. This spring it was in Indianapolis! I just had to go, because it would have been cheaper and less travel compared to going to another state for this training.
Now you might be wondering what this training is about. It is focused on combating the obesity epidemic in youth and the goal is for RDs to be able to learn more about this issue and be better equipped to work with patients to help them become healthier. To complete the certificate program you have to complete required readings, complete a pre-test (score minimum of 80%), attend the 2 1/2 day program and then complete a post-test (scoring a minimum of 80%). At the end of all this you get to claim this certified training on your resume and gain useful knowledge in this specialty area.
So even if you aren't an RD, I did learn some interesting information that you might find interesting.
- Children ages 2-19 - 32% of them are obese and 21% of children ages 6-10 years are living in food insecure homes.
- It is projected that by the year 2072 - 80% of everyone in the United States will be obese (BMI >30kg/m2).
- 60% of children 10-14 years old have a TV in their bedroom. Research has shown that kids gain 1 extra pound per year when they have a TV in their bedroom compared with children who didn't have a TV in their bedroom.
- Children are often the main target for intense and aggressive food marketing and advertising efforts. Often this is NOT for healthy, food options.
I know some of those statistics are depressing, but I think it helps to realize how big of a problem this is for children and this isn't a problem that goes away in adulthood. This weight gain trend often continues as the child gets older and continues to be a problem throughout the child's entire life.
There are lots of things that we (as a community) can do to help our youth be healthier now and for the future.
- Make an effort with your children to limit screen time, get outside a move more and purchase healthy food for your home.
- Try to eat out less and make being healthy an entire family commitment.
- Support health/wellness initiatives in the local school systems.
- As a parent or caregiver, demonstrate healthy behaviors for your children.
I wanted to share this video from the FNV Campaign (Food and Veggies) that is a partnership from the Healthier America and Let's Move Campaigns to help encourage healthier food marketing to Americans. I just wanted to leave you on that note and encourage you to make healthy choices for yourself and your children.