When I was a teenager, parents feared anorexia and bulimia. Now, it’s obesity.
According to the CDC, approximately 17% (or 12.5 million) of children and adolescents aged 2—19 years are obese. Since 1980, obesity prevalence among children and adolescents has almost tripled.
Our kids can’t go to the park unsupervised because we fear that a stranger will abduct them, even though, according to the Department of Justice, only about 115 cases of stranger abductions occur each year. We have scared ourselves into the house and away from the parks. The result is that our kids don’t get the exercise they need, and they are much more likely to grow up obese than to be kidnapped.
Our kids need to run like crazy and use their imagination. According to the CDC, kids need at least one hour of physical activity a day.
When I was a kid, our whole street played for hours outside unattended, running around like crazy and making up our own games, having the time of our lives and burning tons of calories.