Updated: Apr 10, 2018
The last of the five dimensions of human development is physical.
The formula for good health is not exactly complicated.
Good nutrition + regular exercise = healthy life.
It’s an easy formula to follow. The problem is…that it’s also easy NOT to follow.
So easy, in fact, that according to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), the percentage of children in America with obesity has more than tripled since the 1970s. Presently, 1 in 5 school-aged children (ages 6–19) are now obese.
Childhood obesity also has an immediate and long-term impact on physical, social, and emotional health. For example:
Physically…children with obesity have an increased risk for chronic health conditions and diseases such as asthma, bone and joint problems, type 2 diabetes, and heart disease.
Socially…children with obesity are bullied and teased more than their normal weight peers.
Emotionally…children with obesity are more likely to suffer from loneliness, depression, and lower self-esteem.
The long-term impact of childhood obesity is associated with adult obesity and has been linked to heart disease, type 2 diabetes, metabolic syndrome, and several types of cancer.
In terms of nutrition, we need to educate ourselves and our children concerning the importance of:
The quality and quantity of the food they consume for optimum health.
Creating a healthy, lifestyle-eating plan that can be consistently followed.
Regular exercise to optimize their total health (emotional, mental, physical). The best way to do this, is to find some form of physical activity that they enjoy, which greatly increases the likelihood that they'll do it consistently. (If you can do this as a family = super-duper bonus).
Basically, it’s really just about deciding to be intentional. Over time, we will become more active and less sedentary by engaging in some form of physical activity every day. And by the way, you will feel a lot better too.
As just one small example of how the five dimensions of development interconnect with one another, healthy nutrition and physical activity both play a major role in promoting better emotional and mental health.
Unfortunately, simple does not mean easy. That’s why the most overwhelming part of this can be not knowing how to change the things that we want to change, much less how to help our children do the same.
And that is exactly why PK4L was founded. To empower parents with the "how" and to remind them that in this journey called parenting, they are already the number one expert in the world on their own children. They just need the right map.