Parks a good idea for parish kids

March 12, 2008 at 11:05 am  | Mobile Reader | Pring this storyPrint 

Willowdale and Lakewood residents will finally get the park they’ve been waiting for, which means a safe place for kids to play.

According to research by physicians from all across the country, Americans are eating too much and moving too little. About 65 percent of American adults are overweight or obese. The portion of children who are overweight has tripled in recent decades, resulting in 16 percent of those ages six to 19 being classified as overweight. Public health officials are alarmed because being overweight is tied to many serious diseases and health conditions.

Physical activity is an important part of fighting this epidemic. And being active has health benefits that go far beyond controlling weight. Active people are less likely to die from coronary heart disease, and have a lower chance of developing high blood pressure and a reduced chance of colon cancer.

Public parks can give millions of Americans opportunities to be active. The ball fields, basketball programs, walking trails and other amenities and programs in parks are getting people moving. But the fact remains that 60 percent of Americans don’t meet the recommended minimum of 30 minutes of moderate activity, five days a week. That contributes to the nation’s health problems, like obesity, which has an increasing impact among children.

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