A Growing Epidemic
Childhood obesity is becoming such an international problem of such epic proportions, much time and dollars are being used in research to find effective ways to combat the growing problem.
No parent actually sets out with a plan to make their child(ren) overweight. So why does childhood obesity seem to be such a growing problem within the last few decades? Doctors and researchers are now trying to discern, since we are one of the most prosperous countries in the world, how can we have such poor nutritional habits. Some of the leading results reported to date are:
- Big name companies-massive advertising budgets-brand name products are all constantly being portrayed in all media types whether it be print, TV, radio or the internet.
Actually the worse a product is for you, it seems the bigger advertising push is expended on that particular product. A child is not and should not be responsible for deciphering whether that TV, radio, print ad etc. is because it is good for them or from the advertiser's perspective "if we don't market it heavy, no one will buy it anyway."
- Parents are under so much more pressure and time constrained that the idea of a family dinner or a well balanced meal 3 times daily is extinct.
- Ease of convenience and the habit is in-grained now to stop for fast food on the way home from work.
- The inability of our bodies to metabolize the high concentrations of sugars and starches we ingest daily.
- Kids under the age of five who get less than 10 hours of sleep per night have a double-fold chance of becoming overweight as they age
Problems Which All The Added Sugars Generate
Because of the slowly changing attitudes about our diet, lack of exercise
, increased TV and computer time and the over-abundance of sugars we seem to consume daily, a whole host of new problems are being generated which was never evident during our grandparents, great-grandparents and earlier ancestors' days. Today there is a higher occurrence of:
- tooth decay with increased medical and dental visits
- a lifetime of bad habits leads to greater chances of heart disease, diabetes, gastric distress, hardening of the arteries etc.
- obesity leads to a childhood of continuous bullying, ridicule and problems with low self-esteem.
Sugar Free Options Now Available
The manufacturing community at large is continuously spotlighted as one of the major contributing factors in the widespread girth
of both children and adults. Because of both federal and public pressure, many companies are now trying to provide options to help the general public reduce their intake of high sugar selections. Within the last few years, more sugar free options are available to help combat the childhood obesity problem. Some of these include:
- sugarfree toaster pastries
- sugarfree breakfast cereals
- sugarfree snack bars
- sugarfree cookies
- sugarfree vitamins
- sugarfree or reduced sugar 100 calorie packs of snack food favorites
But remember, non-nutritive sweeteners (which are used to prepare almost all pre-packaged sugarfree options currently in a grocery store) may be considered safe by some standards (but are highly opposed by others because of their ability to change the body's ability to digest them properly), but these versions (Splenda, Nutrasweet, Equal etc) were not formulated for small children. Physical activity and a sound nutritional diet, including a good mix of fresh produce is by far the best means of promoting normal weight and normal body growth.
Public school systems in previous decades always had a curriculum course known as Home Economics and it was the responsibility of both the male and the female to attend the cooking/kitchen/life skills sessions. During these classes the basics of cooking and feeding the human body was a standard part of a school days classes.
Now, most children are growing up with absolutely no exposure to this type of information. No one is available to teach these life skills unless it is learned at home. But with two paycheck families now the norm, time is at a premium at home so an entire generation of kids is growing up without ever having the chance to learn the basics of good nutrition.
Common Food Substitutions For Optimal Health
|Common Foods Ate Now||Common Sense Substitutions|
|Cola drinks||1 diet drink per day-- 6-8 glasses of water, skim milk, 2% milk or unsweetened iced tea|
|All fruit drinks or fruit-flavored waters||1 glass of 100% juice (either fruit or vegetable) per day|
|Avoid white bread, white pasta and rice||stoneground bread and grains, whole wheat pasta, brown rice|
|Fast Food- Burgers, fries and a soda||Salad (no croutons) and check salad dressing for added sugar, diet soda and grilled chicken breast strips|
|High intake of refined sugars in processed foods now||Fresh meats, vegetables, fruits and whole grains daily|
Because many people have ideas on why the childhood years seem to be quickly becoming an overweight, type II diabetes dependent cross section of little adults, an outcry for less reasons why and more reasons how to fix the problem is starting to filter through the system.
One of those methods gaining more and wider acceptance daily is the juice fast. Juicing for kids often is the easiest way to get children to eat/drink and enjoy their fruits and vegetables without them even realizing that this stuff is actually good for them. Many a mother has shown what a perfect solution a juice fast can be to the finicky eater residing in their house.
Another option is the parents themselves must realize they must take over the responsibility once again for feeding and teaching their children, from a young age, what is considered right and acceptable. Yummy healthy foods do not have to be time-consuming or boring. Learn a few quick and easy methods how to fit good nutritional choices into your child's and your whole family's diet for a better health prognosis for every family member the rest of your lives.
Childhood obesity is not going to be solved by some get quick & rich scheme according to many researchers, but the general public must take the time to realize this problem has just arose to these continually increasing levels because of a change in lifestyles and a better acceptance of what used to be overweight is now just considered OK. As our standards change, so do the rules of the game.
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This site is not intended to replace the advice and supervision of your professional medical treatment plan. Although all of the information is true and accurate to the best of our knowledge, we still recommend you carefully check all food labels before consuming any food product. We can not assume any legal responsibility for any illness obtained while following the advice contained on this site.