Posted in Family, Health, raising kids

Why is Childhood Obesity on the Rise?

 

Hello everyone, I hope all is well with you. I’ve had a busy weekend of kids, writing, and housework. I can feel the energy changing because it’s getting close to the holidays. I know it’s getting busier which means I’m going to be frustrated because I won’t have as much time to write. Boo. But it’s always like this during this time of year, so I just have to suck it up and get through it.

But enough about that, today I want to talk about our country’s weight issues. I wrote a post a couple of years ago titled “Is our Food Industry making Us Fat.” At the time I had just learned that food manufacturers had added sugar to much of our processed food so we would like it better and buy more of their brand. This added sugar adds calories, thus making us gain weight.

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I also learned today that our portion size has grown through the years. I call it portion distortion. Many fast food places have made their portions bigger. For example, a portion of French fries twenty years ago was 2.4 ounces and two hundred calories. Today, the portion size has grown to 6.9 ounces and six hundred and ten calories. This is the reason Diabetes is on the rise and our children are obese.  Even if you’re exercising, there’s a good chance you’re still taking in too many calories.

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I don’t eat fast food very often, but there are times when I use processed food for cooking. For example, canned tomato sauce. Did you know there are two grams of sugar in a fifteen ounce can? I know two grams doesn’t sound like much, but why in the world are manufacturers adding sugar to tomato sauce? Because sugar is like cocaine to our brain. It turns off our over-eating inhibitor, so we eat more, and it is addictive. Doesn’t this sound like what the tobacco industry did to cigarettes? They added nicotine to them so people would become addicted and keep buying their product even though smoking causes cancer and heart disease. They didn’t care. Am I the only one who sees a trend here? To learn more about the negative effects of sugar consumption click here . Negative Effects of Sugar

Sugar does not cause cancer, but it does cause us to be overweight which is a precursor to cancer, diabetes, obesity, and heart disease. So, while the food industry isn’t necessarily causing these diseases, it certainly isn’t helping by adding sugar to our processed food.

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What can we do? We’ve got the food industry working against us. First, we can stop eating fast food. I know, it’s hard to do when it’s convenient and we just don’t feel like cooking. However, we must get back to the basics where we cooked our own food. We need to get away from processed foods and fast food. Once we do that, food manufacturers will change their products because they want to keep selling it, and fast food joints will offer healthier alternatives. Wouldn’t you agree? Thanks for stopping by and reading my post. How do you feel about our food industry? Do you think they’re making us sick? Leave a comment! I’d love to hear from you!

Related Articles:

Is Processed Food Poisoning Us?

Is our Food Industry Making Us Fat?

Is Our Food Industry making us Sick?

An Insidious Epidemic: Childhood Obesity

 

Posted in Parenting, raising kids

An Insidious Epidemic: Childhood Obesity

 

Hello everyone. I hope all is well with you. I’m back today, and I’m talking about something that is on the rise in the United States and that is Childhood Obesity. It saddens me when I see an obese child. I know he’s going to struggle with weight issues throughout his whole life. Nearly one in every three children are obese. That’s alarming, isn’t it? Our country has reached epidemic proportions.

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       What does obese mean?

It means that a child is severely overweight with a Body Mass Index that is equal to or greater than the ninety-fifth percentile.

What’s causing Childhood Obesity?

 Let’s face it, one of the major causes of this epidemic is screen time. Our children are watching TV or on their computers more than ever these days. This is time they should be spending being physically active. We as parents need to limit their screen time and push them to become more active. We need to teach them to take care of their bodies.

Another cause is the fact that many people don’t live in areas close to supermarkets that sell healthy foods. They get their food from fast food restaurants or convenience stores. These foods taste great because they’re loaded with fat and calories, but they’re bad for our children. So, parents need to make that extra effort to find healthy foods. I know it’s hard, especially if you have to drive an hour to the super market. We’re busy parents, right? Who has two hours to spare driving to the super market? I suggest making it a family outing. That’s right, get the whole family involved in grocery shopping. Not only can you teach your kids about healthy foods, but you can also teach them about how to shop on a budget. These are definitely two life skills they’ll take into adulthood.

Marketing of unhealthy foods to our children is another cause of childhood obesity. This goes along with too much screen time. It’s also happening in our middle schools and high schools. Our kids are bombarded with advertising for unhealthy food choices, while advertising for healthy food choices is non-existent. This has to change if we want to have an impact on our children’s eating habits.

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Did you know there’s no law requiring physical education in schools? This surprises me.  It’s recommended that children get at least one hour of physical activity a day. From a study conducted in 2009, only thirty three percent of students met this guideline.  I find this disturbing, especially when I’ve learned that being physically fit is good for your brain.  Check out this article to learn more:

http://www.edutopia.org/exercise-fitness-brain-benefits-learning

According to the above article, there is a direct correlation between being physically fit and academic achievement. The more physical tests the students passed, the higher they scored on their achievement tests.

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In Naperville, Illinois educators created an early morning physical education class for kids who were behind in their literacy levels. The kids would exercise in the morning before class for thirty minutes, and the results were eye-opening. They improved their scores on standardized tests by a whole one and a quarter percent, while those who didn’t participate in the PE class only improved by nine-tenths of a percent.

They also tried this with an Introductory Algebra class, and the results were even more dramatic. Those students who participated in PE before Algebra increased their scores by 20.4 percent. That’s huge! While those who didn’t participate only improved by 3.9 percent.

As you can see, there is a direct correlation between exercise and academic achievement. So not only is Childhood Obesity affecting our kids’ physical health, but they’re mental health as well. So, the bottom line is that we need to get Childhood Obesity under control by increasing their physical activity.

Maybe we need to have more recess time in school? I think that’s a great place to start. What are your thoughts? I’d love to hear from you, leave a comment!

Some other articles about Childhood Obesity:

http://www.cdc.gov/healthyschools/obesity/facts.htm

https://www.healthiergeneration.org/about_childhood_obesity/get_informed/

http://www.edutopia.org/exercise-fitness-brain-benefits-learning