The Wicked Problem of Childhood Obesity

What is the problem?

Every generation wants the best for their children. However, while we can strive for improving things like education, one area where we seem to be getting worse is in keeping our children fit. Approximately one quarter of American school children participate in the recommended 60 minutes of physical activity a day.

How does it affect society?

The impacts of childhood obesity are often life-long, with obesity being the primary cause of preventable chronic disease as well as psychological harm done to children, such as body image issues. It also results in severe financial impacts both for the individual and for society.  According to a study from the Brookings Institute, societal cost for 12.7 million US youth with obesity to be $1.1 trillion.  And yet, we do very little to diminish our nation’s sedentary culture and poor dietary choices. 

Why is this a wicked problem? 

For approximately the last 30 years, physical activity levels have consistently decreased.  As a result, from 1990 to today, the percentage of our nation’s children who suffer from obesity has more than doubled; now more than 1 in 3 children in the US is obese.  What we are facing is an epidemic.

Let’s keep the conversation going!

10.10.10 feels that there are ample opportunities for interested parties to get involved and help better serve our nation’s children.  Join all of us at 10.10.10 in working towards a healthier future for our youngest generation.  Share your thoughts, ideas and articles with #101010childhoodobesity #101010health

Problem advocate, Shepard Nevel, President and CEO, LiveWell Colorado, presents a strong case to the prospective CEOs for childhood obesity as an important wicked problem for them to focus on at The Big Reveal on June 20, 2016 at the Ellie Caulkins Opera House. (Jacqueline Endsley Photography)

More Posts