Reversing the alarming trend of childhood obesity, in the Toledo area and across the country, will require a sustained collaboration aimed at improving the health of young people.
According to the Ohio Department of Health, more than one-third of children in the state who are more than one year old are overweight or obese. Of children between the ages of 10 and 17, nearly one in five is obese.
Concern for these children must go beyond talk and hand-wringing. It has to become the basis of a forceful campaign that finds practical ways to combat an unhealthy condition affecting an astonishing number of youngsters.
Better diets and more exercise can help remedy the problem. That means targeted education about healthy eating, along with greater opportunities for daily physical activity. A committed effort by community leaders will make the difference.
The effort includes finding safe venues for active children to expend energy. It will take foresight and encouragement to develop plans that will provide local communities access to affordable, healthy food.
Recognizing the scope of the problem that has produced a generation of overweight, unhealthy children is a start. Now that awareness must lead to an aggressive response, for the future of our children and our community.