Recently HBO released a documentary on the obesity epidemic that has engulfed our society. Although a recent documentary, you quickly learn in the first half of the documentary that this epidemic has been growing on us for some time.
In 1972, a study was initiated to measure heart related illnesses brought on by unhealthy habits during childhood. The Bogalusa Heart Study, as it has been called, sampled 16,000 children and adults from Bogalusa, La.
According to Tulane.edu, “observations clearly show that the major etiologies of adult heart disease, atherosclerosis, coronary heart disease and essential hypertension begin in childhood. Documented anatomic changes occur by 5 to 8 years of age.
“The levels of risk factors in childhood are different than those in adult years. Levels change with growth phases, i.e. in the first year of life, during puberty and adolescence, in the transition to young adulthood and in adulthood.”
In the documentary we get to follow individuals that have been followed in the study since early grade school. We notice different stories, but many of the people are obese and have struggled with their weight for a number of years. The children that are still being studied in Bogalusa have a greater obesity rate than the average increase in the U.S.
The studies prove that many of these life-threatening diseases that we attempt to resolve daily in clubs through exercise, actually begin when people are very young. What the study has shown has been a quick increase in cardiovascular diseases over the last 10-20 years.
Clubs have an opportunity to start with children early. By bringing fitness into a child’s life at an early age, they will help them avoid cardiovascular diseases later in life. Today, many children aren’t instilled with the importance of exercise — an entity much needed throughout ones life.
Fitness clubs have the ability to help children and families on a greater level. The only question that’s left is, as a leader in the fitness industry, what have you done lately to change a child’s life by making them active?
Tyler Montgomery is the Editor of Club Solutions Magazine. Contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org