Home-cooked meals and impromptu baseball games seem to be things of the past, replaced with pre-packaged foods and hundreds of television stations. Georgians rely more and more on quick-fix foods and effortless entertainment. These sedentary habits are formed at earlier ages than ever before, taking an especially harsh toll on the waistlines of children.
Over the past 15 years, obesity increased by more than 100 percent among children and adolescents, resulting in the more than 5 million children who are currently overweight or obese. Since 35 percent of overweight children have overweight parents, these children simply follow their parents' example of poor nutrition and exercise habits. These poor habits can contribute to adult obesity, hypertension, cardiovascular disease and Type II diabetes. In fact, recent projections from the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) indicate that one in three children born in 2000 will become diabetic unless they become more physically active and make permanent changes to their eating habits.
Children's Healthcare of Atlanta has developed a wellness Web site to encourage families to adopt healthier lifestyles. MyFamilyHealthSpot.org features personalized meal planners, fitness and nutrition trackers, health information and activity ideas. Here, children can take an active role in their own health. Educational games, child- friendly recipes and reward points encourage kids to be active and eat more fruits and vegetables. With sections tailored to the needs of parents, teens and children, MyFamilyHealthSpot.org is a one-stop shop for family wellness. The site recommends that parents use small, measurable goals to achieve healthy eating and physical activity habits:
Children's Healthcare of Atlanta, one of the leading pediatric healthcare systems in the country, is pleased to offer summer tips for parents and their children. Click on the links for more information. Children's experts are also available for interviews pertaining to these topics, as well as additional pediatric health care issues. Please contact Children's 24-hour, 7-day-a-week media pager at 404-570-9717 to reach a public relations representative immediately. Children's is a not-for-profit organization that benefits from the generous philanthropic and volunteer support of our community. Operating three hospitals with more than half a million patient visits annually, Children's is recognized for excellence in cancer, cardiac, neonatal, orthopaedic and transplant services, as well as many other pediatric specialties. Visit our Web site at www.choa.org or call 404-250-KIDS to learn more about Children's Healthcare of Atlanta.
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