As First Lady Michelle Obama’s “Lets Move” campaign to fight childhood obesity celebrates its second year this month, research shows that the problem is only growing worse.
According to recent data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 17 percent of children in the U.S. are now obese — and one out of every three is overweight.
“The rate of childhood obesity has tripled to the point that pediatricians say growth charts no longer apply to today's kids,” states a Feb. 15 CNN report. There is also a new and disturbing trend: an increasing number of elementary school children are so large they no longer fit into their once-appropriately-sized chairs and desks.
It’s a complicated problem to tackle — especially on a national level — but invariably it always comes down to the same two things: diet and exercise. But how do you promote diet and exercise when all your kid wants to do is eat McDonald’s and play video games?
Parents seeking solutions to their children’s diet and exercise challenges are encouraged to attend the next “Community Connection” event from 5 to 7 p.m. this Thursday at Upper Crust Bagel Co. in Old Greenwich, where nutritionists Jeremy Boland, Traci Gwozdz and Kim Pearson will once again share nutrition and fitness tips for children and adults.
The three health and nutrition experts will be emphasizing the role of the parent in fostering good diet and exercise habits in their child: During the previous “Community Connection” event at Upper Crust, held Jan. 12, Pearson, who is a special education teacher and holds the title Ms. Bikini Universe 2011, stressed that parents should lead by example in the areas of nutrition and exercise.
“Look at yourselves,” she told the group. “Parents tend to look outwards, but habits begin at home.”
Gwozdz added: “You’re not going to save your child unless you save yourself first. It’s like the oxygen mask on the plane.”
Rob and Amy Guerrieri, owners of the Upper Crust Bagels in Old Greenwich for the past 17 years, recently joined forces with Greenwich Patch and have played in integral role in helping to launch “Community Connection,” which will be held monthly. Recently they installed two state-of-the-art touch screen stations near the store’s community bulletin board where locals catch up on news, events and information using Greenwich Patch (which, by the way, recently celebrated its one year anniversary). Patrons can check out events on the interactive calendar, or post their own classifieds, events and flyers while enjoying the shop’s delicious bagels, coffee and sandwiches.