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Childhood Obesity

WHEREAS, childhood obesity is a condition where excess body fat negatively affects our children's health or well-being; and 

WHEREAS, childhood obesity is a serious medical condition that affects children and adolescents. (It occurs when a child is well above the normal weight for his or her age and height); and 

WHEREAS, childhood obesity is particularly troubling because the extra pounds often start our children on the path to health problems that were once confined to adults, such as diabetes, high blood pressure and high cholesterol; and 

WHEREAS, one of the best strategies to combat excess weight in our children is to improve the diet and exercise levels of our entire family. (This helps protect the health of our children now and in the future); and 

WHEREAS, although there are some genetic and hormonal causes of childhood obesity, most excess weight is caused by our children eating too much and exercising too little; (Our children, unlike us as adults, need extra nutrients and calories to fuel their growth and development.   So if they consume the calories needed for daily activities, growth and metabolism, they add pounds in proportion to their growth. But our children who eat more calories than needed gain weight beyond what's required to support their growing bodies and will gain excess weight with a sedentary lifestyle); and 

WHEREAS, there are many factors, for example: Diet, Inactivity, Genetics, Psychological factors, Family factors and Socioeconomic factors – usually working in combination- that increase our children's risk of becoming overweight; and 

WHEREAS, we should be worried if our children are putting on too much weight and talk to his or her doctor or health care provider at our earliest convenience; and 

WHEREAS, the doctor or health care provider should provide a complete weight assessment, taking into account our child's individual history of growth and development, our family's weight-for-height history, and where our child lands on the growth charts; and 

WHEREAS, as part of regular well-child care, the doctor calculates our child's body mass index (BMI) and determines where it falls on the national BMI-for-age growth chart. (The BMI indicates if our child is overweight for his or her age and height. Using the growth chart, our doctor shall then determine our child's percentile, meaning how our child compares with other children of the same sex and age. Because BMI doesn't consider things like being muscular or having a larger-than-average body frame and because growth patterns vary greatly among children, our doctor must also factor our child's growth and development into the overall weight assessment. This helps determine whether our child's weight is a health concern); and 

WHEREAS, obese children can develop serious health problems, such as diabetes and heart disease, often carries these conditions into an obese adulthood. (Overweight children are at higher risk of developing: type 2 diabetes; metabolic syndrome; high blood pressure; asthma and other respiratory problems; several types of cancer, sleep disorders; liver disease; early puberty or menarche; eating disorders, osteoarthritis and skin infections, etc.); and 

WHEREAS, social and emotional fallout also can hurt our children; (children often tease or bully their overweight peers, and our children suffer a loss of self-esteem and an increased risk of depression as a result that may lead to suicide); and 

WHEREAS, childhood obesity is truly a public health concern in 2009; and 

WHEREAS, according to the 2008 Update on Legislative Policy Options on Childhood Obesity issued by the National Conference on State Legislatures over the past three decades, obesity rates have nearly tripled for children ages 2 to 5 (from 5 percent to 14 percent), more than tripled for youth ages 12 to 19 (from 5 percent to 17 percent) and more than quadrupled for children ages 6 to 11 (from 4 percent to 19 percent). 

THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED, that the NAACP declares a state of emergency where it relates to childhood obesity; and 

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that we are recommending that parents, as soon as possible, seek medical advice regarding their children's weight; and 

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that we encourage: (a) slow and steady weight loss; (b) eating healthier; (c) choosing fruits and vegetables over convenience foods high in sugar and fat; (d) limited sweetened beverages including those containing fruit juice; (e) family members eating together as opposed to eating in front of televisions, computers and video games; and (f) increasing our children's activity levels; and 

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that NAACP units in conjunction with the American Diabetic Association with NOBIDAN and the local health department, especially branches, be encouraged to conduct educational workshop on childhood obesity developed and created by the NAACP health committee; and 

BE IT FINALLY RESOLVED, that Press Releases should be issued announcing this state of emergency and calling for a congressional hearing on childhood obesity especially as it relates to the effects on children in urban areas where there has been a said decrease in physical education and recreational facilities. 

Together Power Vote Hero - NAACP

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