Renowned English Cosmologist Stephen Hawking recently produced a public service announcement on obesity, an concern that Hawking considers to be one of the most serious and dangerous current public health issues. The organization, The State of Obesity, suggests that in every state at least 20% of adults are obese. According to the CDC in 2012 more than one-third of children in the United States may be categorized as either overweight or obese. Hawking accuses on cause to be the sedentary lifestyle trend that is so common in this twenty-first century modern world. Hawking notes, “we eat too much, and move too little.” Research from publichealth.org suggests that the average American is burning 120-140 calories less per day than they were 50 years ago. With the change and development of technologies it is common for individuals to spend their work day sitting behind a computer screen, something that did not happen 50 years ago. The end of the video notes that physical inactivity is now the world’s fourth leading cause of death.
Thankfully, Hawking acknowledges several easy solutions to these concerns: an increase in physical activity and a change in dietary trends. The National Recreation Foundation supports programs that seek to increase physical activity with the end goal of encouraging, modeling, and cultivating healthy lifestyles. The NRF supports organizations that focus on a variety of outcomes including physical activity, outdoor recreation, health and wellness, and nutrition. These programs combat the sedentary lifestyle that has become the standard among both young and old Americans. It is through these programs that we have begun to see effective change by encouraging youth to challenge the current norm; to get outside and turn off the video game console, to frequent their local community center and log off social media, or to be the champions of healthy eating in their families and communities instead of reaching for processed snacks.