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How do we know Nature Deficit Disorder is a problem in today's society?

Our children may be the first generation at risk of having a shorter lifespan than their parents.

  • Sedentary lifestyle and physical inactivity have contributed greatly to the numerous health problems plaguing today’s children.
  • Chronic conditions such as childhood obesity, asthma, and attention-deficit disorder have all increased over the past few decades.
  • Approximately 16% of US children (~ 9 million) aged 6-19 are overweight or obese.
  • Childhood obesity has doubled over the past 30 years for preschoolers and adolescents and more than tripled for children aged 6-11.
  • These chronic conditions may lead to pulmonary, cardiovascular, and mental health problems in adulthood.
  • Outdoor activity in the natural environment has taken a back seat to television, video games, the computer, and a demanding schoolwork and extracurricular schedule.
  • Today’s youth are losing the contact with the natural environment that is potentially beneficial for their health and well-being.

Source: National Environmental Education Foundation "Fact Sheet: Children's Health and Nature"