Saturday, May 8, 2010

Reversing the Trend of Childhood Obesity

by Jenna Gray

First Lady Michelle Obama is leading a national effort to end the childhood obesity epidemic. This is a growing health concern because if current trends continue, this will be the first generation of children who will not be expected to out live their parents.

Parents are urged to help their children learn healthy eating habits and encourage them to stay physically active starting at an early age. If not, they will be at risk for numerous health problems later in life. The excess weight is taxing on their bodies. It gradually damages their bones, joints, lungs, heart, and puts them at risk for diabetes. This can be very damaging for their psychological well being too.

The number of children who are overweight or obese is growing at an alarming rate. The latest figures suggest that as many as one third of youngsters and teens are carrying excess weight. Nearly one quarter of children ages 6 to 11 are overweight, and nearly 20 percent of teens are dealing with obesity.

According to experts, this trend is much easier to reverse if children are taught healthy habits at an early age. By the time they are adults, it is often too late. This is why parents and school administrators are encouraged to help children maintain diets consisting of healthy foods. Teaching them about portion control is also important.

Some people may be concerned that it is not realistic to expect children to give up fast foods and candy. But Mrs. Obama stresses that this effort is not about completely eliminating pizza and burgers from the diets of children and teens. It's about balance. As long as they are eating healthy most of the time, then an occasional meal of burgers and fries will be okay.

One way to get children really interested in eating healthy is to set a good example. Children develop their eating habits by watching their parents. Involve them in the preparation of healthy snacks. Take them grocery shopping. Let them help decide which healthy foods should be included in meals. Find ways to make the foods tasty and visually appealing.

Parents should also watch their own weight, especially mothers. Research suggests that women should lose weight before becoming pregnant. Otherwise they risk passing on their weight problems to their unborn child.

About the Author
Jenna Gray is a writer who does extensive research on health related issues. Click on the link to read about mothers can avoid passing problems with obesity to their children.

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Reversing the Trend of Childhood Obesity

1 Comments

1 Comments:

At August 12, 2010 at 7:54 AM , Blogger foodnme said...

I applaud what Michelle Obama is doing. At least she is doing something about an epidemic that kills over 120,000 Americans a year. If we sit here and do nothing, it will kill more Americans in 5 years than Americans died in the same time frame during World War 2. The threat of up to 30% of children not outliving their parents is very real.

The challenge with obesity is, like the frog being slowly boiled to death, it is becoming a part of day-to-day lives of Americans and it is being accepted as normal. Average BMI levels are being revised up every year and most Americans are in denial.
It's time to wake-up America! America is the #1 obese country in the world.
Most parents today have two jobs and little understanding of basic nutrition needs. Children and parents together need to have sound nutrition understanding. It's not so much about telling them what is good or bad, but arming them with information of the impact of types of food on the body and therefore their lives. Then it's up to them to decide what they want to do. We strongly believe in empowering children and parents with great nutrition basics in a way that is fun for kids and practical for parents so they can make their own good food choices. www.foodnme.com was founded on that principle.

 

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