Kids and families are at risk. I see it everywhere, starting at a very young age. It’s an epidemic and unless we start educating families and changing habits, the childhood obesity epidemic will continue to worsen. I don’t mean to scare you by using words like “at risk” or “epidemic” but this is a very serious issue that must be talked about. My passion for helping kids started a couple years ago seeing close family members affected by obesity. I thought about how this happened and how everywhere around me children are developing bellies, body fat and sluggish energy at such a young age. Lack of exercise is one of the first differences I noticed in this day and age where video games and social media rule, and playing outside becomes unheard of. When I was young you couldn’t get me to come inside. Now P.E. classes are limited and kids come home and jump on the computer, TV or play video games. Food has changed dramatically over the years as well. Eating bad foods has become so easy that parents choose that over cooking at home. The busy lives of most Americans have been confronted with the easy $1 menu of high fat, sodium, calorie foods. So pair high calorie, processed foods with no exercise or activity and it’s no wonder kids and families continue to gain weight. Genetics also play a role as well and chances of parents who are overweight having children who are overweight is highly likely. But, genetics can only be an excuse for so long, parents must make an active effort to change their lifestyle and put health first. To do this education is key. One of my goals is educating families to be healthier, making health a priority, and respecting our bodies. It doesn’t have to be hard and it must be a family effort. You can’t expect your kids to follow the lifestyle if the parent won’t. If you're worried that your child is putting on too much weight, talk to his or her doctor or health care provider. He or she will consider your child's individual history of growth and development, your family's weight-for-height history, and where your child lands on the growth charts. This can help determine if your child's weight is in an unhealthy range. Please make the change to a healthier life. You don’t want your children to experience physical complications like obesity or diabetes, or to experience the social and emotional complications either. Low self-esteem, depression and bullying are hard on kids. Let’s all get together and make the changes necessary! Your future depends on it! Thanks so much for reading!