Connecticut's Department of Public Health and Commission on Children in collaboration with the Childhood Obesity Council recently held a conference at the Legislative Office Building to address the growing concern over childhood obesity. According to DPH Commissioner Dr. J. Robert Gavin, the rates of childhood obesity in our state as well as the nation are staggering. "The number of children aged 6 to 11 in our society that public health defines as 'obese,' has more than doubled in the past 20 years. The rate among adolescents aged 12 to 19 has more than tripled."
Children who are obese are at greater risk of heart disease, diabetes, cancer, osteoporosis and other degenerative diseases and are more likely than children of normal weight to become obese as adults. It's frightening to think what long-term effect poor diet and lack of exercise can have on our next generation.
Fortunately, there are many progressive minds working together to proactively address this issue. Educators are turning this crisis into an opportunity by offering newly designed food and fitness programs to elementary school students throughout the state and teaching our young children about the benefits of a plant-based diet. YAY Fruits and Veggies!!