As children enter early adolescence pressure to look like the images seen in the media and in advertising can distort their image of their own bodies. “I’m too fat” or “I’m too skinny” are comments often heard in conversation, especially with girls. Boys may not express their feelings verbally but the insecurities are still felt. Guidance through these difficult stages of growth is necessary and a clear understanding of the role of nutrition and exercise are vital supports.
The positive habits of a healthy lifestyle begin at a young age and lead to a healthier lifetime. Healthy eating, regular exercise, and proper hygiene are pivotal to the health and well-being of all generations. For the first time in history, the current generation is expected to have more health issues and to live a shorter life than their parents. This alarming trend can be reversed. School-age childcare programs can make a difference as children and adolescents become informed about healthy living and begin practicing healthy choices.