As a health and fitness educator and an exercise physiologist, I have enjoyed working with a variety of populations for many years. However, I began working with teens only recently. I knew the percentage of overweight children and adolescents in the United States was growing. I also knew that obese children and adolescents are more likely to become obese adults at high risk for disease—and that an increasing number of teens were leading sedentary lifestyles.
Editor’s Note: This is the first in a series of Special Reports that will appear in IDEA Health & Fitness Source throughout the year. The goal of these Special Reports is to investigate timely industry issues in an impartial manner to create a dialogue among fitness professionals.
It is estimated that 3 to 5 million people in the United States are injured from recreational, exercise and sport-related activities each year. While the primary causes of these injuries are physical, psychological issues can also contribute—and impact recovery as well.
A new study indicates that older women who consume too much vitamin A may increase their risk of hip fracture. Researchers found that women with the highest total intake of vitamin A, from both fortified food and multivitamin supplements, had double the risk of hip fracture compared to women with the lowest intake. The study appeared in the January 2, 2002, issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association.
It sometimes seems schools around the country are contributing more to sedentary living among today’s youth than they are promoting the benefits of exercise. Only one state—Illinois—requires daily physical education (PE) for all students in kindergarten through 12th grade, while only one other—Alabama—requires daily PE for children in kindergarten through eighth grade, according to the latest Shape of the Nation Report, conducted by the National Association for Sport and Physical Education.
Parents, especially fathers, have considerable influence in promoting healthy lifestyles for their daughters. New research presented at the annual meeting of the North American Association for the Study of Obesity in October 2001 underscores the importance of parents and teachers as role models for kids. In addition, the research reveals new ways to identify kids at risk for obesity.