Erich “Coach E” Nall
By Erich “Coach E” Nall
We are facing a tremendous problem in our country today. This problem is even more prevalent in our African American and Latino communities. The problem is obesity. Statistics indicate that 16-33% of adolescent children between ages 4-13 are considered obese. The rate of obesity among teenagers from ages 13-17 is already at 30%. By the end of 2010, 40%, almost half, of our children will be considered obese or overweight. Obesity leads to many ailments that children in the above groups are experiencing, such as early diabetes, hypertension, heart disease, and very high cholesterol levels.
In 2009, more than 300,000 children passed due to problems associated with being overweight. We have to come up with a solution.
Let’s look at the contributing factors to obesity in our families today. The first is the intake of foods that are high in calories. Our fast food nation has provided our communities with a constant supply of oversized portions that are excessively high in calories. In an economy that has parents working several jobs to continue to pay the mortgage, in many instances, cooking at home has become one of many casualties. With less time spent at home, picking up fast food provides a convenience. However, when we cook at home, we are in control of the ingredients that are used in the preparation of our meals.
Second is the lack of exercise or physical activity. As programs have been removed from our children’s schools, this has directly affected the physical activity that children engage in on a daily basis. Additionally, the interaction in the home has changed quite significantly. When children and adults arrive home, more time is being spent in front of the television, computer, or video game. Families spend more time inside engaging in activities that may be considered, low activity level, or are passive in nature. Minimal physical activity is required and children do not go outside to play, for many reasons.
Lastly, there is sometimes a general lack of communication within our families and within our communities. We live “separate” lives. Children may come home and sit in their rooms with the doors closed. Residents of the same neighborhood may not interact with their neighbors, if they know them at all. We have lost the mechanism within the household to communicate the problems and situations that occur during the day. The lack of outlets to the everyday issues creates the feelings of lack of confidence, and low self esteem, which can affect personal achievement.
Within these three contributing factors to obesity, there is one underlying thread which has the ability to turn this dire dilemma around, and point us in the direction of a solution. The “family structure” is the key. Within the family, parents play the biggest role in providing nutritional meal choices for all. Parents have the ability to place limits on the time that is spent on electronic entertainment. Finally, when the family chooses to come together, and actually spend time together, at some point in each day, time can be spent opening the lines of communication. Communication provides the support that each member of the family needs. Support allows children the capability to find their voice, and in doing so, they then grow in confidence. As confidence grows, so grows self esteem.
In the next couple of weeks, I will review the family structure, and the role that the structure plays in combating obesity and the resulting health issues. We will review a nutritional plan and an exercise program that a family can participate in together. How do we increase the communication to build self esteem? We will delve into this vital issue as well. Join me as we work together to solve this obesity problem today!
Peace and Be More!
Erich Nall is the Owner and Founder of Ultimate Transformations Training (www.ultimatetransformations.com) in Los Angeles, California. He has coached and trained many successful professional athletes, actors, models and others in the entertainment industry for the past 18 years. The certified trainer, nutritionist, motivational speaker, and dedicated life coach is a regular guest and commentator on KJLH 102.3 FM’s the “Front Page with Dominique DiPrima” and writer for Volleyball Magazine.