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Couch Potato Kids

With parents working so much and great video games, kids spend more and more time on the couch—usually eating unhealthy snacks. And wouldn't you know it, this is making them unhealthy.

Worse yet, young kids are getting diagnosed with type 2 diabetes and heart disease as a result of being overweight. The alarming presence of these "adult diseases" in children is likely to cut down the life expectancy (which has been generally very high in the past few years at 78, but does vary in all areas of the country) of the younger generation by two to five years! A study from the Journal of the American Medical Association found that obesity (a body mass index of 30 or higher) is “associated with more than 112,000 excess deaths a year from heart disease in this country.” Being overweight or obese also contributed to thousands of deaths related to diabetes and kidney disease.


While a little extra padding can help keep the body safe and strong from cancer or pneumonia, it’s difficult to put the blame entirely on the factor of weight. With 2/3 of American adults already overweight, the focus should be placed on being fit and living healthier—not a number to reach on the scale. Childhood is the time to mold concepts of healthy eating and regular exercise, but these young people need a good example. If sent down the right path at under 10 years old, chances are they will stick with the good habits and be on the way to a long, healthy life. So make a date with your child, niece or nephew and get moving! [MSNBC]

Posted: 4/23/08