Wearing my pretty crown and getting all dressed up is not all I do, as your Miss Jr. Teen Illinois United States. It’s about a lot more than that. I’m blessed because I belong to a pageant system that encourages each of us to be a champion for a cause that we are passionate about. My platform is about ending childhood obesity and also stopping hunger. The Miss United States Organization along with Miss World has a ‘Beauty With A Purpose‘ mission that gives us all the opportunity to make a difference in the world.
Because my peers are facing an epidemic that can cause some pretty scary diseases, I want to help STOP it. If we can end childhood obesity now, the next generation will have a better chance at life. Here are some facts from the Campaign to End Obesity that kind of scared me:
- Obesity is linked to more than 60 chronic diseases.
- According to the American Cancer Society, obese adults are at increased risk for all cancers.
- Obesity contributes to two-thirds of all heart disease, according to the CDC.
- 66 percent of American adults with doctor-diagnosed arthritis are overweight or obese.
- Over 75 percent of hypertension cases are directly related to obesity
- More than 80 percent of people with type 2 diabetes are overweight.
Sounds bad right? Well it doesn’t have to be. We can do some things that will eventually help end the epidemic of childhood obesity. I’m a pretty positive girl and I think we CAN do it!
Five Easy Ways To Help End Childhood Obesity
- Get Active! It doesn’t have to be a marathon race or basketball game, but just start moving. I dance and that helps to keep me in shape. But, I also have friends who skate, run, walk, do yoga, play tennis and other sports. Even just walking around the mall counts as activity! (just don’t stop for cookies or pizza) The Let’s Move organization recommends 30 minutes of activity a day for grown-ups and 1 hour for us kids. We’re young, we can do it.
- Eat Healthier! Now it isn’t easy for most kids to eat healthy without the help of our parents, schools, and programs. But we can make better choices. We can pick fresh fruit over junk food on most days. We can also help cook some of our meals to learn how fresh food is prepared. Then comes the hard part for me, we can pledge not to eat fast food so much. Sorry McDonalds, I said it.
- Drink Way More Water! Most of us don’t drink enough water. We stop by the water fountain a few times and call it a day. This one is an easy fix, just drink eight 8-ounce glasses per day.
- Learn About Nutrition Labels! We have to read labels and really know what we are putting into our bodies. My aunt told me that if I can’t pronounce it, I shouldn’t be eating it.
- Plant a Garden! This actually sounds fun to me. If we all plant one garden we may even take more pride in eating fresh food. By the end of my reign, I would like to plant at least 1 school garden. Leading by example is the best way to get other kids helping to end childhood obesity.
Quick Water Tip: The health experts commonly recommend eight 8-ounce glasses, which equals about 2 liters, or half a gallon. This is called the 8×8 rule and is very easy to remember. Drink up!
What do you think we should do to help reverse the obesity numbers?