It’s no secret Americans are increasingly leading a sedentary lifestyle. In an age of video games and the internet, children are much less inclined to play outside. This inactivity is having detrimental consequences, including higher rates of childhood obesity along with diminishing concentration and thinking skills.
Whereas past generations may have gone outside to play a game of pick up football with their friends or to ride their bikes around the neighborhood, today’s generation is more likely to stay inside, eat junk food and play videogames. With the obvious increase in childhood obesity this brings, diminished concentration skills which physical activity promote are also a direct consequence.
With over 30% of American children under the age of 19 years old currently obese and nearly 70% of adults battling obesity, the obesity rate is projected to continue. This is because childhood obesity rates have been growing 1% a year since the early 1980’s, according to CBS News. And heavy kindergartners are twice as likely to make for heavy eighth graders and four times as likely to make for heavy adults.
Aside from all the benefits to children’s physical condition, their partaking in physical activity and sports is also extremely advantageous to their confidence and self-esteem. These are crucial to their learning ability and subsequent academic performance. These traits are also what children will carry with them throughout their lifetime, directly impacting how they interact with the world around them. This means what career paths they choose and how well they succeed in them.
Healthy habits established at a young age are fundamental to a child’s health well into adulthood. Determining a child’s weight fate, or how heavy they will be throughout the course of their lifetime, is easily influenced by encouraging them to engage in physical activity and eating healthy, unprocessed food. If these principles aren’t instilled in the American youth, the obesity epidemic across the country will continue to grow. Old habits die hard, whether they are good or bad.