According to the new HBO Documentary, The Weight Of The Nation, 18% of our nation’s children are obese. Does this surprise you? It should scare you at the very least. You might wonder why I’m writing about this health epidemic on an education blog, or perhaps not, but the reason is simple. Children and family health is an education issue. It’s the trickle down effect. If children aren’t well-fed with nutritious foods at home and encouraged to engage in real physical activity, it intercepts their ability to focus in school and strongly impacts self-esteem and self-worth. And without these ingredients, it’s more difficult for children to persist successfully in school.
Certainly the reasons and causes of this epidemic are many, but schools and educators do play a role. We learn in The Weight Of The Nation that only “4% of elementary schools, 8% of middle schools and 2% of high schools provide daily physical education”. This is alarming and frankly unacceptable, but due in part to the fact that as a nation, we do not necessarily see health and physical wellness as part of the traditional education paradigm.
If you want to learn more about the HBO Documentary, click here to see the comprehensive website and valuable links.