Good news! There is one area where we are surging forward with growth rates in the double digits. The bad news? The area is childhood obesity.
According to the CDC, childhood obesity has more than tripled in the past 30 years, up to 20% of children ages 6-11 in the U.S. It used to be that Americans were the global joke when it came to weight. Heavens knows we deserved it, but the rest of the world is catching up fast. Australia? 20%-25% of children are overweight or obese. Europe? WHO estimates 24% of 6-9 year olds are overweight or obese. And it’s spreading – South America, Egypt, China, and the list goes on.
The public health implications are mind-boggling. In the U.S., President Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama have launched an ambitious initiative to battle childhood obesity. The program is Let’s Move!
Swimming is one of the best forms of exercise and learning to swim can keep you safer your entire life. A 50 lb. child (23kg) burns 138 calories during an hour of moderate swimming. Contrast that to 57 calories used tossing a football, 90 calories for leisurely cycling, 99 calories for walking at a moderate pace and even 102 calories burned shooting baskets. There is no other exercise that keeps you healthier AND safer for your whole life than swimming.
Please join me in respectfully asking First Lady Michelle Obama to highlight swimming as part of her Let’s Move! campaign. Click here to send her an e-mail – and don’t forget to thank her for launching the initiative!