people

1 in 3

Children and teens age 2 to 19 are considered overweight or obese

middle
schools

96%

Of elementary schools offer no physical education classes

1 out of 3

Children are obese or overweight before their 5th birthday

tv-85
obesity levels

According to a nationwide survey conducted by the Kaiser Family Foundation, kids between ages 8-18 spend an average of 7+ hours/day in front of screens, regardless of socioeconomic status.

extra tv hours

SINCE 1980

Obesity prevalence among children and adolescents has almost tripled

obese adults

REALITY CHECK!

Sitting too Much is Making Kids Fatter

According to Texas A&M professor Dr. Mark Benden engaged in a comprehensive two-year study of standing desks using 500 of elementary school students and measured changes in their calorie expenditure and classroom engagement. The study showed:

  • Kids at standing desks burned between 15% to 25% more calories during the school day than the ones who remained sitting.
  • Obese students the desks had an even bigger impact, increasing calorie use by up to the 25% to 35%.
  • Kids in the standing classrooms were more engaged.

Dr. James Levine, director of the Mayo Clinic-Arizona State University Obesity Solutions Initiative, sitting all day is not natural and to blame for all kinds of ailments, including obesity. Children burn between 15 and 35% fewer calories sitting versus standing.

  • It also turns out kids can’t counteract the effects of sitting by exercising for an hour or two each day, that hitting the soccer field or gymnastics class for one hour/day but then sitting for the rest of the day effectively cancels out the benefits of the exercise. Tacking exercise to an otherwise sedentary life doesn’t overcome the negative effects of too much sitting.
    • The children of our current adult generation are predicted to be the first generation in history to have a shorter life expectancy than their parents.

    • The average American child spends upward of 75% of their waking hours sitting.

    • Since 1980, the prevalence of obesity among children and teens has almost tripled – 1980 – 6.5% of kids were obese; 2008 – 19.6% of kids.

    • Approximately 12.5 million or 17% of children between ages 2-19 are obese.

    • 2 out of 3 American children don’t get ANY daily physical activity.

    • Children who are overweight or obese are five times as likely to be obese as adults.

    • In children ages 12-17, for every hour of sitting watching TV, the prevalence of being overweight increases by 2%.

    • Obesity accounts for 18% of deaths of Americans ages 40 and over.

  • In 2008, obesity surpassed smoking as the leading cause of preventable death and poor health-related quality of life in America.

(Sources: Dr. James Levine, Mayo Clinic; Dr. Mark Benden, Texas A&M; Centers for Disease Control)

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