Tip #13 Overcoming Childhood Obesity Through Multi-Disciplined Sports

Overcoming Childhood Obesity through Multi-Disciplined Sports

Aside from causing negative body image and low self-esteem in children, obesity is associated with a host of serious health problems that include high blood pressure, type 2 diabetes, and elevated blood cholesterol levels. These problems are likely to persist into adulthood, carrying the likelihood of obesity-related diseases and shorter life expectancy. A recent article published in Medical Daily [link 1] suggests that households with obese kids are more likely to pay 60% more for health care since these kids are more likely to be admitted to hospitals than healthy children.

These alarming facts give us reasons for concern, but they also encourage us to make a positive difference in the lives of obese children. In particular, Children’s Obesity Fund seeks to combat the obesity epidemic through education and outreach programs designed to promote healthy lifestyle habits. We believe that prevention of obesity is most effective when it rechildhood-obesitylies upon gradual and permanent changes in children’s physical activity and healthy eating habits conducive to maintaining an appropriate body weight.

Establishing support networks is essential to promoting positive lifestyle changes in obese children. CDC points out that children’s dietary and exercise habits are affected by numerous social institutions that include the media, schools, government agencies, healthcare providers, and faith-based institutions. While we seek to promote our message and foster public awareness of the obesity epidemic across these levels of society, we also emphasize that particularly supportive roles should be assumed by family members. Parents and caregivers ought to understand the importance of talking to children about their weight without belittling them or setting them apart from other kids. It often helps to plan family activities that incorporate physical exercise. Indeed, summertime may be the most opportune time of the year to take your children outdoors and engage them in games or athletic activities that are both fun and conducive to positive lifestyle changes. While a game of Frisbee is not likely to solve a global childhood obesity epidemic, it may be one of the first steps towards encouraging active lifestyle habits in your child.

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Junior Tri Club kicked off its Obesity Campaign on July 1, 2016. Thus far their obesity campaign has positively impacted over 300 families in Baltimore City introducing them to strategies in how to combat this disease through multi-disciplined sports.

Multi-disciplined sports are duathlons and triathlons. Duathlons are run-bike-run events. Triathlons are swim-bike-run of people in a relay team (of 2 or 3) maximum. Whether done as a single entity or as a relay team, duathlons/triathlons promote communicate, team work, and enhance leadership attributes out of each person. The sports promote such diversity but still faces backlash based on one’s size, ethnicity, etc at times.

IABT encourages you to get active now. Don’t put off together what can be worked on today. Whether its swimming, cycling, running, walking, etc you can do it. Its the IABT Way. #IABTObesityCampaign


Dr. Tekemia Dorsey

Executive Director, IABT

USAT Tri Club Advisor/Coach



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