Access to afterschool activities is even worse. Jorge lives in a neighborhood that is not safe for outdoor, unsupervised play and there are no readily available after-school sports activities. He spends much of his day either watching TV, playing video games, or on the Internet. Without community solutions, Jorge will not have the opportunity to develop an active lifestyle that is so important to health.
Promoting healthy lifestyles for children is a shared responsibility. There are things that parents can do such as deciding whether or not to buy soda. There are other things that go beyond what a parent can accomplish. In future columns I'll discuss some exciting programs taking place in schools and communities to tackle the epidemic of diseases that are linked to obesity.