Northwest Georgia Healthcare Partnership

Dr. Orval Porter

Words from Board Member, Dr. Orval Porter

Over the past 30 years, the rate of obesity in the United States has more than doubled for preschoolers and adolescents, and it has more than tripled for children ages 6 to 11. Obese children get a head start on health problems such as diabetes and heart disease, often carrying these problems into an obese adulthood. If this trend continues, obesity may soon top smoking as the nation’s most preventable cause of death. The reasons for a child’s obesity are complex. But the most common factors combine too much screen time — including television, computers and video games — with too much junk food. And the best solution is to reduce your entire family’s intake of both.

School’s support families by ensuring children have the factual information they need to make informed decisions about eating and exercise. The health fairs scheduled for early winter are examples of school’s willingness to support the health of families. However, the burden for family health lies squarely on the shoulders of parents and their choices.

Allowing children to accompany us to the gym during a workout, enjoying an evening walk with the family, or a weekend hike with the family are some readily available activities that cost little, but offer quality family time and a fitness side affect. We have heard repeatedly that spending time with our children is of great long-term benefit to the child and parent. Educators will continue to promote youth health and fitness. The best results occur when parents support their local schools by getting involved in the lives of their children.