Indiana is Obese

I recently did some research on “healthy living” and needed data related to childhood obesity, physical activity, nutrition, etc. The results are a little staggering.

Some of the results are here:

The state and federal governments are trying to curb the rising trend in obesity across the nation. I personally tend to be more conservative and think the government should be a last resort to “rescue” us from our personal problems. But something has to be done to keep us and our kids healthier.

I was happy to report back in August about the increasing trend of more runners there was a 5% increase from 2005 to 2006.

The Trust for America’s Health report also included statistics on public opinion about specific related programs:

  • 81% of Americans believe that the government should have a role in addressing the obesity crisis. Majorities strongly support government working on proposals to expand education programs about healthy living, provide low-cost access to exercise programs, and reduce the marketing of unhealthy foods.
  • 55% of parents with children under 18 believe lunches provided in schools are not nutritious enough.
  • 66% of Americans rated proposals to establish higher nutrition in school lunches as very useful.
  • Over 2/3rds of Americans believe children do not participate in adequate amounts of physical activity during the school day or engage in enough physical activity outside of school. More than 70 percent of Americans rated proposals to increase physical education in schools as very useful.
  • 60% of Americans favor a proposal to measure students’ BMI annually and confidentially provide this information to parents or guardians.

I know the Anderson Road Runners has a Children’s Fun Run program and most races include some type of kid’s event. What do you think we, as people who value fitness, can and should do to promote a healthier lifestyle for today’s youth?

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5 thoughts on “Indiana is Obese

  1. sweet

    Nice Work! Very interesting information.I think the key maintaining a healthy lifestyle is making fitness part of one’s daily routine. I think the easiest way to do this is to set this expectation at an early age. Wanting to create this foundation for my children (16 and 12 years old), I find myself professing the following: 1. They must play an organized sport. Don’t let them quit! Find a good level of competition for them and keep them doing something. They eventually will find some sport, at some level of competition, and some teammates that they like to be with, even if they don’t excel at the sport. But if they don’t play any sport for an extended period of time then it will be harder to get back in shape and sets a poor foundation. It is not ok to only go to school or only work. I believe there must be both mental and physical challenges in one’s life.I was a NCAA Division 1A starter in soccer and I didn’t play soccer in high school. If I hadn’t run cross country in high school (and instead not participated in sports) there is no way I would have been able to develop the speed and endurance I needed for soccer in college. Keep them playing some sport, because once they quit exercising the chances of finding the sport they might enjoy for years or a lifetime decrease a lot. If one can’t find a sport one likes, then exercise becomes a hassle. 2. I lead by example, coach, watch them participate, ENCOURAGE, keep in shape myself, eat healthy foods. Send the message that sports are not just for fun (although they are), it is also important. Not just important when you are young, or a teenager, or for one season a year, but for every one of all ages, all year long.3. No TV during school week. They can record a couple hours of their favorite shows and watch them on the weekends. Homework, exercise and a meal are enough to fill any week night.These items help my family and children set a foundation of fitness and problem solving for life. I believe everyone needs to maintain a mental/physical balance. For many it won’t be running or soccer as it is for my family, but there needs to be a consistent physical endeavor in one’s life. Then the obesity problem will be less of an issue. Sports seasons, races and games give us a reason to keep fit so that we can perform at our best and gives our exercise purpose. Without these events and commitments, one is more likely to take the easier route and have another helping or skip a few days of exercise or worse yet, stop exercising completely…. For me, this is where the road to weight gain begins.Hope this helps somebody….David Sweet

  2. Anderson Runner

    Thanks for your insight, it sounds like you are taking your children's health quite seriously. As a fellow athlete I agree with you. I didn't grow up in an athletic family, but I was still encourage to do sports. Everyone should at least try a sport!

  3. Anonymous

    Thank you David and Nick for your comments and concerns for childhood obesity. This information from you both is very helpful. I have a teenage daughter (13), not having much luck finding something for her to do during the winter months. She seemed interested in karate, but it's very expensive. So we will continue to find something for her to do.

  4. Anderson Runner

    Winter can be a hard time to find fun activities, what about indoor soccer or some other "indoor sport" that is traditionally outside?

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