Approximately two in ten American youth ages 2-19 are considered overweight or obese. (Childhood Overweight and Obesity, 2011) Obesity is linked to other health issues such as heart disease, depression, hypertension, high cholesterol and type two diabetes. (Childhood Obesity, 2011) Children who are obese have a higher chance of becoming obese as adults according to U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. .
With no after school supervision and constant and quick access to fast food and microwave dinners, children are not getting the proper nutrition needed for healthy growth. That's why it's so important for parents to watch what their children eat and make sure they're getting proper nutrition and exercise - these are the keys to properly maintaining a child's weight. In most households, both parents work and have late hours, leaving children home alone. With so many electronic game systems (Xbox 360, PlayStation 3, Nintendo Wii, etc.) and a literal bombardment of television programs aimed at children and teenagers, millions of kids are sitting in front of the TV, eating snacks and forgoing exercise and healthy living. .
It's rare to see young people outside playing at parks or in their yards. Gone are the days when young boys played street hockey. Years ago, children chose outside activites such as hide-n-seek, freeze-tag, basketball and building clubhouses. Parents would call out their windows and front doors, telling their children that it was time to come inside for a home-cooked family dinner. This day and age children come home to an empty house because their parents are still at work or on their way home so they'll eat anything that doesn't take too long. These same children instead of doing homework or getting exercise are sitting in front of the television playing a video game or in front of the computer doing the same thing. Until recent years the foods offered at schools have been somewhat healthy, now kids can buy candy and soda from vending machines offered in their schools.