“Childhood obesity is a pandemic currently affecting 124 million boys and girls around the world between the ages of 5 and 19, according to the WHO (2016).”
WORLD HEALTH ORGANIZATION, 2016
In Spain, almost 35% of boys and girls between 8 and 16 are overweight, according to recent data from the PASOS Study, which is supported by our Foundation. If the trend continues, we could find the first generation with a lifespan that is shorter than that of their parents.
The Galaxy of healthy habits
Obesity affects the immediate health of children: it is a risk factor for chronic non-transmittable ailments like diabetes, cancer and cardiovascular disease, in addition to causing psychosocial problems such as poor performance at school or low self-esteem.
The Gasol Foundation Works to reduce childhood obesity through promoting four healthy habits:
The beginnings of the Gasol Foundation
Marc and Pau Gasol are brothers, Olympic athletes and NBA All-Star players, who are dedicated to making a difference. The brothers have attracted international attention for both their sporting careers and for their social commitment.
Since the time they were very young, they have shared an interest in the health of children. After years of working with different organizations that support kids (UNICEF, St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital, Children’s Hospital Los Angeles) and in light of the growing childhood obesity, Marc and Pau Gasol established the Gasol Foundation in 2013, with the aim of fighting childhood obesity by promoting healthy life habits among children and their families.
Zero childhood obesity
The Foundation works under the premise that the best way to treat child obesity is to prevent it, and thus combines three strategies:
• Lead the cause publicly by raising awareness about childhood obesity and making it the center of the political and social agenda.
• Coordinate projects to promote healthy habits.
• Implement innovative projects to prevent childhood obesity.
Areas of action
• Programs aimed at families in vulnerable situations.
• Programs that work with sporting and leisure-time organizations.
• Research into the field of childhood obesity.
• Actions to raise awareness and take action.
We recently published the PASOS Study, the first representative scientific study in Spain that measures the levels of physical activity and sedentariness among Spanish children between the ages of 8 and 16, as well as the relationship between physical activity and social and lifestyle factors.
The conclusions are worrisome: some 63.6% of these children do not engage in the minimum physical activity recommended by the WHO (one hour a day), and 80% spend more than the maximum recommended time in front of screens (two hours a day). The study also proposes that waist width measurement be taken as a parameter for evaluating childhood obesity. You can find detailed information about the study here.