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:
- 15.6% of Indiana Children are overweight, ranking Indiana 15th highest, 14.8% is the national average (Trust for America’s Health).
- 26.8% of the adult population in Indiana is obese, ranking Indiana 9th highest, 24.4% is the national average(Trust for America’s Health).
- $264 is spent per Indiana resident due to obesity in the state, ranking it 22nd, $258 is the national average (Trust for America’s Health).
- 25.9% of Indiana adults do not engage in physical activity, the national average is 22% (Trust for America’s Health).
- 34% of Indiana youth didn’t meet the CDC physical activity guidelines (Indiana Youth Risk Behavior Survey).
- 10.5% of Indiana youth don’t participate in ANY physical activity (Indiana Youth Risk Behavior Survey).
- The same data also showed a dramatic increase in the percentage of female students who did not participate in any physical activity over the past seven days.
- 32% of students reported watching three or more hours of television on an average school day (Indiana Youth Risk Behavior Survey).
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?