Posts Tagged ‘TV’

Childhood Then and Now

Childhood Then and Now

I spent my childhood in the 1940s and ‘50s half an hour from Manhattan in a neighborhood that was made famous years later by the TV character Archie Bunker.

It was certainly no one’s idea of country living, yet my life was nothing like that of a suburban child today. After school, we would throw our book bags in the house and head for the streets for games of stickball and punchball, broken up every few minutes to let a car pass by. Or we would go to the nearby woods (later to become an apartment project) for bike rides and wrestling matches. All this would end at dinner time, when our mothers would yell for us to return for a home cooked meal.

There were no computer games. Life on the streets was probably less safe than our parents thought, but no one required us to stay within sight. McDonald’s and the other fast food places didn’t exist yet, so our portions weren’t supersized and calorie laden.

One result of all that was that very few of us were overweight. It’s amazing to realize that 65% of children and teens in New Jersey today are overweight or obese .The health implications of this problem are enormous. Type 2 diabetes, which used to be called adult-onset diabetes, is now a common condition of childhood. Most people of my generation can expect to have longer lives than their parents, thanks largely to better health care. Our children and grandchildren, unfortunately, are likely to have shorter lives because they eat worse and exercise less than us.

We aren’t about to re-create the woods and open spaces of my childhood. But we can encourage our children to get away from the computer games, go outside and maybe learn how to run a bit wild, how to invent new games, how to play with their friends. That, after all, is what being a child is about. And we can prepare nutritious food for them and try to get them to actually like it.

Bob Uris

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Join the Fight Against Childhood Obesity

Change is sometimes a good thing, but when it comes to children’s physical activity and nutrition, the changes that we have seen over the past decade are not positive. About 1/3 of all children in America are obese. Childhood Obesity is escalating at a disproportionate rate, especially in the African American communities. When we think about the correlation between obesity and chronic diseases like diabetes, high blood pressure and heart disease, the numbers are staggering.

So what’s changed? I recently heard Dr. Darrin Anderson share information on Childhood Obesity. He cited three main causes:
1. Less active playtime
2. Eating more fast food
3. In poorer communities there are fewer corner grocers in walking distance selling fresh vegetables and fruit.

I can relate to all three of them. Reflecting on my childhood, I remember walking several blocks to school. All the kids on the street spent a big part of their free time having fun running and playing outside. We didn’t eat at fast food restaurants instead our Moms cooked at home.

Today, things are different for our kids. If they are not involved with organized sports, then TV, computer and video games may fill a big chunk of their time. The only exercise they’re getting with these activities are pushing the remote buttons or jumping up to get snacks filled with sugar and fat.

Here is the good news! G3 Health and Fitness is a non-profit corporation which was formed to fight Childhood Obesity. As a pharmaceutical rep calling on Dialysis clinics, I saw firsthand how poor diet and inactivity can lead to fatal chronic diseases. Our team of professionals working on this initiative is passionate and committed about the health of our children. We are partnering with community centers and organizations to offer fun fitness sessions, demo healthy cooking and offer health and wellness education. G3’s vision is comprehensive, including volunteer opportunities for upper level students to stay active through a mentoring program. This blog is dedicated to keeping the issue of Childhood Obesity front and center. G3 Health and Fitness goal is to help kids and their families get the G Factor – “Get Moving, Get Knowledge and Get Healthy and Strong.”

Cynthia Carpenter

G3 Health and Fitness
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