Two new studies show how our kids’ health is getting worse. In a study published in the journal Circulation, the American Heart Association says that almost 60 percent of American children have poor cardiorespiratory fitness. Also known as aerobic fitness, this is the body’s ability to supply oxygen to the muscles during physical activity. It’s an important indicator of physical fitness and overall health and well-being. Poor cardiorespiratory fitness can lead to changes in heart and blood vessel function, which can result in early cardiovascular disease. It’s also linked to obesity, which is also on the rise. A new report from the CDC says that child obesity levels in the U.S. increased significantly during the COVID-19 pandemic. About 22 percent of children and adolescents were obese, possibly due to increased screen time, poor nutrition, and more sitting during the pandemic. Healthcare professionals need to encourage more physical activity and better nutrition for kids, and parents need to model these healthy behaviors themselves for their children.
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