The Childhood Obesity Epidemic
According to a recent study conducted by Cornell University, increasing opportunities for kids to move throughout the school day translates to a far less chance of students facing obesity now and in the future. The new reality of social-distanced schooling has only added to the health disparity children face daily.
According to the World Health Organization, over 340 million children and adolescents aged 5-19 worldwide were overweight or obese in 2016; 39 million children under the age of 5 worldwide were overweight or obese in 2020. A video presentation by the CDC Public Health Grand Rounds discusses efforts to reduce the obesity epidemic that affects 17% of all children and adolescents in the United States.
The obesity epidemic has extended from the general populace to our nation’s children. Administrators, health officials, and politicians have already joined forces to combat what has been termed a “crisis proportion” of childhood obesity. Research has resulted in numerous community-based interventions, but progress is slow and resources limited. In combination, obesity and math illiteracy each pose a threat to the future of the United States and its principal resource — children.
Obesity is preventable!
How a Kinesthetic Approach Addresses the Epidemic
Alan and Linda Brown’s article, “What Are Science & Math Test Scores Really Telling U.S.?” suggests that “the real differences lie in how teachers in the U.S. and top-performing countries plan and teach lessons,” and that “it is time to rethink the culturally ingrained methods teachers use in their classroom.” Traditional math skills offer direct, behavioral instruction; teachers lecture and the students sit in a quiet, controlled setting. Little to no imagination or interaction is used beyond the student raising his/her hand to answer a question. This stationary style of training breeds boredom, discourages creativity, and contributes to childhood obesity, costing taxpayers and families dollars and lives.
Math & Movement – the curriculum embraced by the National Math Foundation – offers children the opportunity to acquire confidence in sharing ideas, speaking skills, and creating role-play, regardless of physical ability. A child in top physical condition can participate, enjoy, and learn alongside a fellow student with physical limitations because motions can be adapted to suit the child’s needs.
Furthermore, the ease of these physical movements helps overweight children feel included in the “gym-like” experience because they are able to perform as well as others. This helps build confidence while battling obesity. Creative body movements combined with group counting helps students catch up and catch on to their math level requirements.
Organization Highlights – Addressing Obesity & Nutrition
Learn About The American Rescue Plan
The federal government is sending funds to schools to help students get back to grade-level due to the COVID-19 pandemic. To learn more about how you can help to get those funds to the right places, click the link below.