stress Uncategorized obesity Youth Fitness

The Kids Aren’t All Right: Childhood Obesity may be at the root of more problems.

National Academy of Sports Medicine
National Academy of Sports Medicine

Childhood obesity may be at the root of more problems than you think.

We all know about the long-term risks of childhood obesity, including heart disease, type 2 diabetes, and arthritis. But a recent study by UCLA’s Center for Healthier Children, Families & Communities points to obesity as the root of some surprising problems.

  • The Outcomes: Compared to non-overweight kids, obese children ages 10 to 17 have a higher risk of physical ailments (bone, joint, and muscle problems; and asthma, allergies, and ear infections) and developmental delays, behavioral problems, grade repetition, depression, and ADHD.
  • The Triggers: The study, published by the Academic Pediatric Association (APA) in 2013, pointed to stress as a potential key connection between weight and health issues. It’s a chicken-or-egg scenario, the APA says, because stress may contribute to the risk of obesity and related issues, while obesity and health issues may contribute to stress.
  • The Solution: The study is a wake-up call to doctors, parents, teachers, and policy makers that childhood obesity needs to be addressed in a much more aggressive way. And that brings it back to something we all know: Exercise relieves stress and is good for the body and mind.

“We, as fitness professionals, can be leaders in turning this around,” says Latreal Mitchell, NASM-CPT, CES, YES, founder of the nonprofit Fitness Bunch Foundation ( and a long-time childhood obesity activist. Mitchell says NASM’s Youth Exercise Specialist (YES) program can give trainers the tools they need to keep kids engaged. (Learn more at

“We have to help these kids—and their parents—get smarter about nutrition and exercise,” Mitchell says. “If we do that, we can make a huge difference.”





Tags: stress Tags: Uncategorized Tags: obesity Tags: Youth Fitness

The Author

National Academy of Sports Medicine

National Academy of Sports Medicine

Since 1987 the National Academy of Sports Medicine (NASM) has been the global leader in delivering evidence-based certifications and advanced specializations to health and fitness professionals. Our products and services are scientifically and clinically proven. They are revered and utilized by leading brands and programs around the world and have launched thousands of successful careers.