Childhood Obesity in Winnebago IL

Childhood Obesity in Winnebago IL

Chiropractic Winnebago IL Child Eating Watermelon

What greater treasure do we have as parents and a community than our kids? Childhood obesity in Winnebago IL is preventable, urgent and something we can fix. I will give you some numbers to demonstrate the problem at hand and then some possible solutions. Before I do, I implore you all to get involved and help solve this problem.

Preventing Childhood Obesity In Winnebago IL

According to the CDC, or Center For Disease Control and Prevention, one of seven low-income, preschool-aged children is obese. In 2008, only 1 state had a level of overall obesity at less than 20% and that is Colorado. In Illinois, 26.4% of our population is considered obese and in Wisconsin, 25.4%. This is one out of four. For childhood obesity, the national numbers are frightening. NHANES, a watchdog group who conducts surveys, (1976-1980 and 2003-2006) show that the prevalence of obesity in children 2-5 years of age increased from 5.0% to 12.4%. For kids 6-11 years the percentages increased from 6.5% to 17.0% and 12-19 years from 5.0% to 17.6 %. The studies show that obese children become obese adults. One study found that approximately 80% of children who were overweight at ages 10-15 were obese adults at age 25. Is that really the legacy we choose to leave to our children?

The really scarey part of this trend is the associated health risks that go with obesity. I get so disgusted with these television talk shows, where people who are morbidly obese, say they are healthy. There is no such thing. The word "morbid" means diseased. The obesity issue shows higher risks for several medical conditions in the obese. This is not my opinion, but a fact. These conditions include, but are not limited to, heart disease, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, Type 2 diabetes, depression, fatigue, skin disorders, asthma and sleep apnea. That is the physical side of this problem and our kids have all of these conditions.

Childohood obesity is an issue that is widely known, but is one of those dirty little topics we don't want to talk about. I once offered a free class, with a catered meal, to talk with parents about this epidemic and no one showed up. It angered me. We know it is a problem yet stick our heads in the sand and ignore it. Instead, we as a society would rather talk about unwarranted hysteria about H1N1 and whatever flu decides to visit this year and other illnesses. So I ask you all, isn't it about time we talk about health and how we can be more healthy?

There is a mental part of this topic as well. Let's face it, there is a blatant social stigma with the condition of being overweight. Self esteem, depression and social isolationism become concerns for children who are overweight. And being physically fit can impact a childs performance in school. The Texas Education Agency did a study and concluded that physcially fit kids are more likely to do well on academic achievement tests and are less likely to have disciplinary problems. There is not enough room to cover all of the effects of childhood obesity in this short article. Let's just agree that it is a serious physical, mental and social problem.

Before we can solve this problem, we should figure out the causes. Obesity is defined as a measure of BMI, or body mass index, which is determined by a formula that takes height into weight. A score over 30 is considered obese. The big question is, how have we allowed kids to get so fat? I could be nicer in saying that, but I am not talking to the kids, I am talking to the adults who have allowed children's health and lives to be in jeopardy from this problem. Let's be real, it is our fault and we should all be angry about it.

The causes are many. We are in too big of a hurry with being busy, while we accomplish less and less. This leads to poor lifestyle choices for us, which is bad enough, but it also leads to poor lifestyle choices for our kids who depend on us. Being fat is not hereditary, it is a sad fact of child rearing. If more parents looked in the mirror and realized they had a weight problem, then the real issue of childhood obesity would have a chance to be corrected. I have heard the arguments about genetics and being fat. I think that is not just ignorance but it is an excuse disguised in a lie. Sure there are rare cases of genetic obesity but the numbers are very small. For the vast majority, obesity is a condition of lifestyle, not a medical condition.

Here are the most obvious causes of childhood obesity, in my opinion. There is too much and too easy access to bad foods. It used to be we had relatively healthy food choices at school, but, I have seen what they eat today and am appalled. Vending machines and pizza? Really? Being home is even a worse choice for most kids. One study I read actually stated that kids gain weight while they are on breaks from school. Look in your pantry and refrigerator and the reason should be clear. Kids used to fill neighborhoods outside playing games and just being active. Today, you can drive through some neighborhoods and not even know kids live there. Instead, technology has become an easy babysitter with video games, 200 television channels and computers. Now these are obvious causes. Most are not so easy to see. As a society we are over-medicated, overstressed and under-rested. Studies on all of these topics show a direct relationship to gaining weight and poor health. I see it in my practice everyay.

To solve this issue we are all going to have get involved. As with anything the first step is admitting the problem exists and then making the commitment and a plan to combat it. I hope you will agree the health and lives of our children are reasons enough to make that commitment. Then we have to deal with the environment we create in our homes. Get rid of the bad foods. Be encouraging to your kids. You would be surprised how helpful a positive environment is, so be positive. Pay attention to how your kids are doing in school, with social circles and outside activities. Kids have never been more stressed than they are today. Consider enrolling your kids in a fitness related acitvity or hiring a fitness coach to help you. As the parent and leader to your children, I would consider joining them in their efforts, as we could all use more help to be more active and healthy.

We can't allow video games, computers and television shows to be the babysitters for our kids. Fast food is easy but we have to stop going there. We need to be better leaders to our children and plan ahead to provide them a healthy meal. And while we are at it, we should plan family physical activities, so we all get out and move. We should become a voice to our schools about the food choices they offer and the physical activity they are provided. At the very least, we can pack a healthy meal and send it to school with our children. It takes effort. It takes your love. It requires a support system and postive re-inforcement. It takes a community to provide a safe place for kids to be active and grow. And it can't wait. It is urgent. It is a crisis that needs to be addressed. Today!

In my office, we see people and whole families, who start care with spine and nervous system problems, weight issues or other health problems. As they start to see improvements, other areas of their lives improve as well. This doesn't just effect that person, but their whole family. People do more, eat better and rest more fully. The quality of their lives increases. Just think what this does to a community.

I will make you an offer. Let's make this a priority now. We are all in this together. Contact me. I have been involved in health and fitness my whole life. You tell me when and where to show up to help and I will be there. Will you?

Visit Freedlund Family Chiropractic & Nutrition today.


8:30am - 12:00pm
2:00pm - 6:00pm

2:00pm - 6:00pm

8:30am - 12:00pm
2:00pm - 6:00pm


8:30am - 12:00pm
2:00pm - 6:00pm

Saturday & Sunday

Freedlund Family Chiropractic & Nutrition

506 N Elida St
Winnebago, IL 61088

(815) 335-1381