64

According to research by Columbia University, 64 calories is the average number of calories a child or teen needs to cut from their diet in order for them to meet the federal goals for slashing obesity by 2020. If this doesn’t happen, the typical child would weigh 4 lbs more in 2020 than they do now, and would put childhood obesity at 20% (presently at 17%).

Simple ways to cut 64 calories a day:

  • 4 oz. juice

  • one Oreo cookie

  • a third of a Pop Tart (210 calories in just 1- Don’t even bring them in the house!!)

  • 1/2 cup Honey Nut Cheerios

  • 1/2 serving of Goldfish

 

Serving Up 9.5 lbs of Sugar to Our Kids

This chart was posted on Jamie Oliver’s  Space Coast Food Revolution Day’s FB page. I cringed as I saw this. In just 180 days,  a typical child will consume 9.5 lbs of sugar if they drink just two sugary beverages a day. This does not include the cookies in their lunchboxes or on their lunch trays, and it doesn’t include the candy bars from the vending machines as an afternoon “snack”. The saddest truth is that this is a result, for the most part, of parents who are either ignorant or apathetic when it comes to their children’s diets. While we can’t be there for every food choice they make, we can make sure our homes are stocked full of nutritious foods and that we set the example by making  wise and healthy choices. Here are some more facts:

If you have not yet seen the 60 Minutes segment titled “Is Sugar Toxic?”, take the 20 minutes or so to see the research that is being done to see to the effects of a high-sugar diet. It is educational and eye-opening as to how our bodies negatively respond to this processed substance.

US OBESITY RATE: 1 In 3 Adults, 1 In 6 Children

The Washington state ferry system no longer can legally hold 2000 passengers. Its new occupancy rate is 1750.  When the regulations were first established 20 years ago, the average American weighed 160 lbs, but now that average has escalated to 185 lbs, thus resulting in the change of the number of people permitted on board.

The CDC issued the following stats based on 2009-2010 findings:

1 in 3 American adults is obese

and 1 in 6 American children is obese

These truths are disturbing. And this is just stats on obesity (BMI >30), not including those who are overweight (BMI is between 25 and 29.9).  Obesity leads to heart disease, diabetes, and many other chronic illnesses, and obese children often continue down the path to becoming obese adults.

Your best bet to not being that 1 in 3, or having your child be that 1 in 6 is to eat a diet that is based on eating significant amounts of fruits, vegetables, whole grains, low- or nonfat dairy and lean protein, and low in sodium. Also, incorporate cardiovascular exercise and weight training into your daily routine to achieve maximum results. You will not only look better, but you will feel better for sure!

Raising a Healthy Child

1. Breastfeed – Infants who nursed are able to self-regulate their feedings better than those who are bottle-fed, leading to a lower obesity rate within this group.

2. Eat Together as a Family – According to HealthDay , “those who ate three or more meals a week with their families were 12 percent less likely to be overweight than those who ate few or no meals with their families, and 20 percent less likely to eat sweets, fried foods, soda, and other unhealthy foods.”

3. Encourage  Good Eating and Exercise Habits – We need to teach our children the right foods to eat and encourage them to get moving!

4.Get Enough Sleep! – Obese children tend to have shorter sleep periods and more variable sleep patterns than their healthy counterparts who maintain a regular, sustained night’s rest.

5. Be an Example! – If parents eat high-fat, sugary, and salty foods, than their kids are exposed to those foods and are likely to follow suit. In the same way, those parents who eat fruits and vegetables have children who will do just as their parents do- consume more healthy foods. Click here for some kid-friendly and fun snacks.

Childhood Obesity – Our Responsibility

Last week, I worked the volunteer cafe at VBS. Our job was to keep the refreshments flowing for the 100 or so volunteers that came to help. The tables were stocked with traditional goodies- cookies, brownies, donuts, and the like, but I also made sure there were healthy choices too- hummus and pita chips, vegetables, fruit, and whole grain pastas and breads.

I was saddened by how many overweight youth came through that room. And even those that weren’t overweight still loaded their plates with high sugar and high fat items. I’m talking about 4-6 cookies, a brownie, chips, and lemonade. May I will be brazen enough to say that overfeeding a child is just as much a form of  abuse as is starving a child in the name of punishment? We think nothing of it when a parent placates their child with food. We even think it’s cute for a child to be called “chubby” or we say, “There’s just more of him to love”. Allowing food to be a satisfier in times of emotional need leads to a cycle that is truly difficult to break. In the same way, if we fail to educate our children in nutrition, be it due to  “ignorance” or apathy, we have also failed to steer them down the path that will keep them healthy and strong in the life God has given them.

According to the Florida Hospital, the number of children in the United States who are considered overweight or obese has doubled, from 15 percent in the 1970s to nearly 30 percent today. An overweight child can face numerous health conditions including…

*high blood pressure

*high cholesterol

*diabetes

*asthma

*heart disease

*depression

*low self-esteem

My heart breaks for those youth and children that I saw who are already struggling with weight. Their precious bodies must begin now to work harder, putting strain on their hearts, lungs, liver, kidneys, and their emotional well-being. As a mom, I encourage you to educate yourself and help your child, your grandchild, niece, nephew, or your students to make wise choices now so they have the best opportunity to live a full and abundant life! This week is dedicated to our children and the many ways to help them make the best choices possible.