You may remember Shannon Miller as an outstanding gymnast when she was young. But now as an adult she has a more important mission in life – fighting childhood obesity. She explains her program in this video.
The New England Journal of Medicine reports that childhood obesity is increasing:
When the children entered kindergarten (mean age, 5.6 years), 12.4% were obese and another 14.9% were overweight; in eighth grade (mean age, 14.1 years), 20.8% were obese and 17.0% were overweight. The annual incidence of obesity decreased from 5.4% during kindergarten to 1.7% between fifth and eighth grade. Overweight 5-year-olds were four times as likely as normal-weight children to become obese (9-year cumulative incidence, 31.8% vs. 7.9%), with rates of 91.5 versus 17.2 per 1000 person-years. Among children who became obese between the ages of 5 and 14 years, nearly half had been overweight and 75% had been above the 70th percentile for body-mass index at baseline.
Read more at http://www.nejm.org/doi/full/10.1056/NEJMoa1309753
So Shannon has a big challenge in reaching children, their parents, and their schools to get kids moving. I’m sure she’d recommend gymnastics as a great way for a kid to get in shape!