Parents: Take Charge Of Your Kids' Exercise Needs!

With obesity rates hitting the stratosphere, especially among our children, I urge you not to depend on schools to do the work that needs to be done to keep your kids physically active and healthy.

The numbers, as almost always, don't lie and are indeed sobering. About 8 percent of elementary school students and 6 percent of those attending middle school and high school have access to physical education classes. Even then, most kids don't get at least an hour of physical activity they need daily to fight obesity. And, if kids aren't involved in after-school sports programs, they could be developing larger "table muscles" sitting at their school desk and on the couch by the day...

That's why a growing number of experts warn parents to take a more active hand in their children's health and exercise habits. To do that, a parent must become a good role model to nurture these healthy behaviors. After all, it is completely unfair to your children to show them how to get more exercise and eat better if they don't see you doing those same things.

Dr. Ben Lerner and I are collaborating on a book about childhood obesity later this year that will offer some very specific practical guidelines that should have a major impact on this epidemic.

Until the book comes out, however, here are three powerful recommendations to help you improve your children's health and well being:

MSNBC August 9, 2005

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