Obesity levels are growing at alarming rates.
Research shows that physical activity performed at school may help improve academic performance. In addition, positive experiences with physical activity at a young age help lay the foundation for being regularly active throughout life.
Childhood obesity is on the rise in Tennessee
- An estimated 19 to 30 percent of Tennessee school students are overweight.
- Twenty-five to 43 percent of Tennessee school students are at risk for being overweight.
- Tennessee received an ‘F’ from “Report Card: State Efforts to Control Childhood Obesity.”
- Tennessee ranks 48th among states for overall health.
- About 15.8 percent of children ages 6 to 11 are obese, according to statistics from 1999 to 2002. That’s way up from 11.3 percent from 1988 to 1994; 6.5 percent from 1975 to 1980; and 4 percent from 1971 to 1974.
- Being overweight has important health consequences in children, including childhood onset of Type 2 diabetes – 33 percent of males and 39 percent of females born in 2000 are at risk for developing Type 2 diabetes. In addition, heart disease is a concern – 60 percent of 5 to 10 year-olds have at least one risk factor for heart disease and 25 percent have two or more.
- Forty-three percent of students in the U.S. reported they were trying to lose weight.
- The average child gets less than 15 minutes of vigorous activity a day.
- Nine out of 10 parents think their children are fit, when only one out of three actually is.
- Because children make lifestyle decisions that can last a lifetime, overweight children have a 70 percent chance of becoming overweight adults.
- Hospital costs related to childhood obesity have tripled in the last 20 years.
Sources: Tennessee Coordinated School Health Program; Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Trust for America’s Health; Centers for Disease Control and Prevention; American Obesity Association Survey; Fitness for Youth, University of Michigan.