Obesity Among The Youth
I drive pass two schools on a daily basis, and the obesity among the young students sticks out like a sore thumb, more noticeable among the girls.
During the last carnival I watched some of the activities; which prompted me to have a conversation with a doctor friend, concerning the problem of obesity among a cross section of the community, most noticeable among the females.
The Netherlands was in the news recently, highlighting the problem of Obesity.
Between 2009 and 2011 the rate of obesity had doubled increasing health expenditure and retarding the growth of life expectancy. Again the rate was higher among females and inhabitants in the lower socio- economic bracket.
Comparative Obesity Rates
The US has the highest Obesity rate worldwide followed by the countries in the order shown. Japan and South Korea showing the lowest rate
The Obesity rates in the developing and third world countries are also growing at an alarming rate. The number of obese people almost quadrupled between 1980 and 2008.
It is Ironic that reports are showing that One-Third of the world’s population is obese and Two-Third of those are from developing countries.
There is no secret in linking Obesity rates to Health Care Expenditure. Or no surprise that Japan has the highest life expectancy rate.
The Netherlands has been addressing the Obesity problem and is experiencing a 12 % drop in the rate.
Visionary leadership and Health Education are mainly responsible for the results.
They are encouraging exercise, asking children to ride to school and eat more fruits, vegetables and promoting the drinking of more water. There are also refusing to co-sponsor events with Coca-Cola MacDonald’s and other fast foods establishments.
Recently I was engaged in a conversation with a local primary school teacher, who was trying to persuade her students against purchasing sugary drinks before school, during lunch break and after school. She was taking it upon herself to teach them to eat healthy.
The Authorities should show some visionary leadership and ban the vendors from selling their sugary products on or near the school premises.
I will also encourage this particular Teacher, who is enamored by her students to establish herself as a leader and lobby the authorities to tackle the obesity problem among the students.
Diabetes is a serious problem worldwide.
Children are under the care of public schools five days a week; the authorities should exercise some creative thinking and introduce measures to tackle the problem.
One such measure is a mandatory 30 minutes of exercise a day for all students; a brisk walk around the nearest Park of sports field.
The introduction of health education and spearheading healthy foods in the school meals, Preaching the importance of fruits and veggies and no sugary drinks, and the reduction in the consumption of sugar period.
Such actions will pave the way for a healthy lifestyle, reduction in health care costs and longevity.
If we are to seriously tackle the worldwide problem of Obesity; The schools are the first and best place to introduce healing measures. We are becoming a sick world without the means to cure our sickness.