In 2012, more than a third of children and adolecents were obese meaning they have excess body fat... MORE THAN ONE THIRD! It's crazy to think that the days of kids running around burning all their energy has turned into kids on tablets, playing video games, and just sitting too much.
Parents, those with younger siblings, and teachers, have you ever had to experience those annoying, never ending tantrums or the unwillingness of others to do a task without a reward? How are you able to persuade one to do what you want or need them to do? Some may say prizes, small gifts, money, candy, or food work the best. A big concern in the news lately is rewarding food to kids for a job well done.
A local news station recently reported on the wellness guidelines in local area schools. Food will no longer be used as a reward for kids and will begin to create a healthier environment in which kids are in a majority of their childhood. For example, a local Indianapolis teacher will now be handing out crayons, jump ropes, offering lunch with the teacher, or the opportunity to be class leader for recognition of the students’ hard work. Instead of pizza parties, ice cream socials, suckers, and candy this school will be receiving sports equipment. This is such a great motivator for kids. I believe that if you get started on the right foot, they will continue to live a healthy and active lifestyle down the road.
If more schools follow the new wellness guidelines, it could turn into a widespread effort. I would prefer sports equipment and fun tools for activities over food or candy, but that’s coming from me, a young adult who has an athletic background and works in corporate fitness. Adults have a larger influence on kids’ choices than we seem to realize. Kids look up to adults and the choices they make. Setting a positive and healthy example could be steps towards a decrease in childhood obesity. If the nation works together as a team towards the same goal, America could be healthier, obesity rates could decrease, and the future could have the possibility of fewer health problems.
Does your child get rewarded with food at school? How would you like to see a reward system change? Hopefully this is a step towards decreasing America’s childhood obesity epidemic.