Why Join NutriActive?

About NutriActive
Highlights
Participants 2006


The prevalence of childhood obesity in the United States is on the rise. More than 45% of children are overweight or at risk for overweight. Research findings show that overweightness during childhood persists into adulthood with serious health, social, and psychological consequences.

Researchers have found that at least 60% of overweight 5-10 year olds have one major cardiovascular disease risk factor, such as abnormal levels of blood lipids and elevated blood pressure, and more than 20% have two or more risk factors. About 15% of overweight children and adolescents have type two diabetes previously seen only in adults, and 21% to 28% have impaired glucose tolerance. It takes on average 15 years to develop complications from a chronic disease, such as diabetes or heart disease. Thus, children who show one or more disease risk factors may develop major health problems by the time they reach middle age. The current health care costs of childhood obesity are estimated at $127 million a year, which is a 3-fold increase since early 1980s. If actions to solve the problem of childhood obesity are not taken in the near future, the costs will continue to grow exponentially.

Obesity is a complex problem and can have a variety of causes. Dietary and activity habits and living environment appear to have major impacts on body weight in childhood. Children’s diets are often high in fat and calories. At the same time, children have limited opportunities to be physically active and burn off those extra calories. School education is largely a sedentary process. Weekly time spent in physical education classes averages 57 minutes for kindergartners and 65 minutes for first graders. This is only 11-13 minutes per school day! At home, kids are being entertained by sedentary activities, such as television viewing, computer games, and reading. Many working parents are simply too busy to track how much time their kids spend being physically active.

Research findings suggest that the foundation for healthy lifestyle habits is laid in early childhood. The stronger the foundation laid, the greater the likelihood that children will grow into active and nutritionally-conscious adults. The NutriActive Healthy Lifestyle program is designed to help young children improve their dietary and physical activity habits. Children are provided with opportunities to experience healthy living, become more competent and skillful in a variety of health-related activities, and develop a proactive and enthusiastic attitude towards a healthy lifestyle.