Olympics to Encourage Children to Play


The 2012 Summer Olympics get underway this week in London. Most of us won’t be able to watch the London Olympics in person, but we can still experience the thrill of victory in our own backyards. The American Heart Association hopes parents will use these two weeks as a jumping point for getting kids active.

“This is a great time to get kids interested and involved in sports and athletic activities, said Tricia Benton, Wellness Director at the Executive Health & Sports Center. “Olympic athletes can inspire children to compete but to also simply participate in sports. And that could help them reach their recommended 60 minutes of play per day for heart health.”

Today, about one in three American kids and teens is overweight or obese, nearly triple the rate in 1963. Even our nation’s infants and toddlers are affected. Nearly 14 percent of preschool children ages 2 to 5 were overweight in 2004, up from 10 percent in 2000. Overweight kids have a 70–80 percent chance of staying overweight their entire lives. Obese and overweight adults now outnumber those at a healthy weight; nearly seven in 10 U.S. adults are overweight or obese. Read more…