Obesity rates in the U.S. continue to rise. Everywhere we look, meals, drinks, and snacks are supersized. It’s who we’ve become. When it comes to physical activity, we’re not fairing so well there either. According to an article by Jump IN, an organization that fights childhood obesity in Indiana, as of 2009 kids between the ages of 8 and 18 spent 7.5 hours per day looking at a screen—TV, computers, or mobile devices. That’s up more than an hour per day from the previous decade. I can’t imagine what those figures are now.
“Jump IN’s goal is to break that trend, and get the central Indiana obesity rate down to 38 percent by 2025. If it succeeds, that means nearly 84,000 fewer kids being overweight or obese than expected. If it doesn’t, it means more than half of central Indiana residents will be starting their adult lives—and first jobs—suffering health complications that come from being overweight."
I’ve spent much of my career trying to turn that outcome around. And while helping work cultures become healthier is important, the ugly truth is that many adults in today’s workforce could have had a better chance from the start. With Jump IN, today’s children will have a stronger foundation than those before them and a better chance for maintaining their health into adulthood.
You might be asking yourself, “As one person, what can I do about these trends?”
The answers are many! Here are a few easy ways you can help:
- Get involved with your kids
- Find a walking partner
- Learn about the contents of the food you’re feeding your family
- Get involved in your community
I’ve been invited to become part of the local Jump IN for Healthy Kids. What excites me most about this opportunity is the approach the organization takes: it’s about education. Not incentives, not removing the unhealthy options, but rather teaching children and adults how to make better choices. They help schools find ways to add activity to the day. They’re focused on teaching adults through churches and community centers. And they are making a difference now and for our future in meaningful ways.
What are you doing to make an impact? Jump IN now!