Can This Be The Antidote To America’s Childhood Obesity Epidemic?

No matter how you look at it, America has a serious problem when it comes to the topic of childhood obesity.

Studies show that for the first time in history, this generation might not even live as long as preceding generations.

Childhood obesity is rampant.  In case you haven’t been following this scary trend, read this:

Childhood obesity has more than tripled in the past 30 years. The prevalence of obesity among children aged 6 to 11 years increased from 6.5% in 1980 to 19.6% in 2008. The prevalence of obesity among adolescents aged 12 to 19 years increased from 5.0% to 18.1%.

Obesity is the result of caloric imbalance (too few calories expended for the amount of calories consumed) and is mediated by genetic, behavioral, and environmental factors. Childhood obesity has both immediate and long-term health impacts:

  • Obese youth are more likely to have risk factors for cardiovascular disease, such as high cholesterol or high blood pressure. In a population-based sample of 5- to 17-year-olds, 70% of obese youth had at least one risk factor for cardiovascular disease.
  • Children and adolescents who are obese are at greater risk for bone and joint problems, sleep apnea, and social and psychological problems such as stigmatization and poor self-esteem.
  • Obese youth are more likely than youth of normal weight to become overweight or obese adults, and therefore more at risk for associated adult health problems, including heart disease, type 2 diabetes, stroke, several types of cancer, and osteoarthritis.

Healthy lifestyle habits, including healthy eating and physical activity, can lower the risk of becoming obese and developing related diseases.

That sounds like a plan.  And it’s not necessarily a quick-fix and it certainly doesn’t come in a pill.

The earlier kids create this healthy lifestyle the better it is for everyone.

This 10-year old, who created a fitness DVD for kids (and teenagers), seems to be making a real difference.

His name is CJ Senter and he is better known as “The Workout Kid”.


Can Autism Be Overcome By Martial Arts? Just Ask Monique Sciberras.

I’m not sure when I first heard about autism. I’m not even sure that I had even heard about it  before watching the Oscar-winning movie “Rain Man” starring Dustin Hoffman and Tom Cruise way back in 1988.

I guess you can say that autism got quite a bit of exposure through the film and Dustin Hoffman’s character, Raymond Babbitt.

Autism is a disorder of neural development. It is characterized by impaired social interaction and communication, and by restricted and repetitive behavior.

According to studies, these signs all begin before a child is three years old.

Autism affects information processing in the brain by altering how nerve cells and their synapses connect and organize; how this occurs is not well understood.

Autism has a strong genetic basis. In some cases, autism is strongly associated with agents that cause birth defects.

It is controversial when it comes to proposed environmental causes, such as heavy metals, pesticides or childhood vaccines.

The global prevalence of autism is about 1–2 per 1,000 people, however, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reports approx. 9 per 1,000 children in the United States. The number of people diagnosed with autism has increased dramatically since the 1980s.

And then there’s 10-year old Monique Sciberras from Australia who was diagnosed with mild autism several years ago.

According to her parents, Monique has been able to thrive through her martial arts training and overcome her disability.

She has become a force to reckon with in karate, kung fu, boxing, Muay Thai and weapons.

I came across some video footage that deserves to be shared with you, wherever you may be right now:

For more about Monique Sciberras, click here.