Yesterday, we had the pleasure of welcoming Dr. Steven Kelder to Saint Alphonsus Regional Medical Center for the fourth installment of the Healthcare Roundtable. Dr. Kelder, a professor and researcher at the University of Texas, is an expert in the field of childhood obesity prevention. His work has been featured on the HBO documentary, Weight of the Nation, and his knowledge and insight of the future of our nation’s health is astounding. He presented some compelling and concerning information about the current state of childhood obesity in America.
- 37% of adults are pre-diabetic.
- America spends over $190 billion each year on obesity-related illness.
- 34% of all American kids are overweight.
- 75% of young Americans are ineligible to join the
because they are too overweight.
- Kids are only getting 1.3 minutes per school day of nutrition education – the necessary minimum is 8.3.
- Students on a proper diet and exercise program perform better in school.
- Around 1 in 10 Idaho students are obese.
These figures tell us that we need to do more about the childhood obesity epidemic; to think of creative ways that get students active and educated about nutrition. The High Five Children’s Health Collaborative powered by the Blue Cross of Idaho, along with Saint Alphonsus, teamed up to get started on the problem last year. We introduced GoNoodle, an interactive classroom brain break activity designed to get kids up and moving right at their desks. Thus far, the program has logged nearly 1,000,000 minutes of student activity, and continues to grow.
We’re committed to combating childhood obesity – and you can be, too. We all can think about everyday solutions to help. Make your voice heard at school board meetings. Teach your children about proper diet and exercise. Organize activities that promote being outside. Take a walk with your family. These simple actions can create a big difference for the future of our children’s health, and the future of Idaho.
Thanks to Dr. Kelder for his presentation, and thanks to all that attended.