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Obesity: Knowledge is Power

| Date Posted: 7/2/2012 | Author: Mandy McCue

“As your body grows bigger your mind grows flowered, it’s great to learn ‘cause knowledge is power! It’s Schoolhouse Rocky that chip off the block of your favorite schoolhouse, Schoolhouse Rock!” As we grew up the Schoolhouse Rock taught us about history, grammar, math, money, and even how our body works. Though a little light on scientific details, the Schoolhouse Rock had it right: knowledge IS power.

The hardest part of this obesity epidemic, is that it is preventable; but how to prevent it is a new topic of discussion.  Tax increases? Banning certain foods? Educating the public? HBO ran a special in May 2012 that discussed the obesity problem in the U.S. called Weight of the Nation. This four part documentary was packed full of alarming statistics and sad images hoping to educate the public about this nationwide problem.  Part one is titled Consequences and it discusses the long-term health problems that are caused by obesity. Part two is titled Choices. This section interviews overweight or obese adults and discusses their struggles and the choices they made that put them in this situation and the choices they have to get out of this situation. Part three is titled Children in Crisis and posted staggering statistics like “1 in 3 children born after the year 2000 will develop diabetes sometime in their life time,” stated by William Diest, MD, PhD. Director, Division of Nutrition, Physical Activity and Obesity, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.  And according to Elsie Tavaeras, MD, MPH, Pediatrician, Co-Director Obesity Prevention Program Harvard Medical School that this will be the first generation that has a purposed shorter life expectancy than their parents, and without prevention, these kids can develop heart disease or chronic liver disease and be on dialysis by their mid-thirties.  There are countless factors that are causing obesity and now one great factor trying to prevent it-:  knowledge.

“Nothing is more important in our national life than the welfare of our children”- Harry Truman

The American Medical Association took the first steps in prevention on Wednesday June 20, by backing the requirement of obesity education classes in first through twelfth graders across the country. The classes will cover causes, consequences and prevention of obesity. Obesity affects more than one-third of U.S. adults and almost one in five children. This push for obesity education is in effort to prevent childhood obesity. (Source: USATODAY: American Medical Assoc.: Require obesity education for kids)

North Carolina has taken the knowledge initiative into its own hands by creating the Childhood Obesity Prevention Demonstration Project.  North Carolina is ranked fifth in childhood obesity and sixteenth for adult obesity in the entire country.  MooreHealth received a grant by the North Carolina Department of Health to create safer walkways for children to use.  Another component of this COPD Project was installing an in-school obesity and disease prevention program for k-8 physical education classes.  Since these grants were distributed in 2009, North Carolina’s childhood obesity ranking has dropped from fifth to eleventh in the country. Knowledge is power.

Let FirstHealth Moore Regional Hospital be your source of knowledge when it comes to weight loss or weight-loss surgeries. Partnered with Pinehurst Surgical, FirstHealth Moore Regional Hospital treats patients from the Pinehurst, Sanford, Raeford, Lumberton, Laurinburg, Troy and Rockingham regions of North Carolina and beyond. 

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