A friend of mine told me her mom used to give her a snack when when she got home from school. A slice of white bread with butter and sugar. Come on, this is crazy. No wonder the diabetes rate is sky high. Whenever you have a problem with your health, what is the first thing people ask you?
What have you been eating? It all comes back to diet. It is just logical. We always associate the good old snack of a glass of milk and a peanut butter cookie. It's great to treat kids and it puts a smile on their face, but there are so many other ways you can do that besides taking them to a fast food chain.
There is no doubt that the childhood obesity rate in America and around the world is outrageous. This is something everyone knows about, but places like Burger King and MacDonalds keep on making money.
The Percent of children overweight in America
What is worse, and more scary is that childhood obesity is increasing. Back in the 80's it was reported that 6% of children were overweight between the ages of 6 and 18. This increased to 15% in 2000. Younger children under the age of five were also becoming more overweight than they should have been. In the last 30 years the statistics have doubled.
Diabetes is a big thing in that we are living with and this is caused by foods which are high in fat and carbohydrates. Kids are doing less exercise, spending more time in front of the television and the xbox. Two thirds of the population are now overweight. This is really shocking if you think about it, and you can't exactly blame the children, can you?
The Solutions to Childhood Obesity
So what do we do? It is not as if we don't try. The internet is overloaded with ebooks and dvds with ways to lose the flab. You will find huge sections in bookshops dedicated to the subject. Could it be 30 years ago we didn't have lifestyles which were more family orientated?
We had the time to cook a family meal. Working long hours and having the option to head off for a take away instead of slaving over the stove for an extra hour is an option which is a lot more convenient. There is no doubt that it is not as easy having to deal with something like this, but there is a solution and that requires hard work.
In saying that, sometimes I think this is just an excuse for getting back into the comfort zone. Making a meal for the family does not have to be that difficult if you plan your day properly. There are a ton of cookbooks that show you how to cook a meal in 20 minutes.
You may say that parents who feed their kids on healthy foods seem to be neurotic and cruel to others, but at the end of the day if kids like this get used to the taste of healthy snacks at a young age they will stick with it. If you don't work on it, the obesity rate is going to keep on rising along with diabetes and all the other related problems associated with this.
Feeding your kids sugar and spice and all things nice is like poison, because it is like an addiction and it is difficult to get out of the habbit. As you get older you won't believe that healthy food can actually taste really good, but making this interesting and creative from the start is the best thing you can do for your kids.
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How important is exercise?
When we look at things like video games and kids staring at the television for hours on end with a couple of sodas in front of them, we have to wonder does this not play a part as well. Well, of course it does!
What are the effects of childhood obesity? If one is trained from a young age to be in a zone of comfort, then it is difficult to get out of that place. If you are always used to watching T.V with a snack, whether you are hungry or not, it will become a habit.
Remember, when you used to participate in games, playing ball games on the street. How about when you used to meet your friends for a game of baseball.
How about if you take your kids off to a game and introduce them to the wonderful world of sport. Take them to the gym where there is a kids section or take them swimming with you. Cycling is also a fun thing to do. The more you do activities like this with them when they are young, the better it will be in the long run. Exercise is good therapy.
This is a good type of drug, which you can actually excel at and you can get a lot more out of this then you can with staring at the PlayStation watching others do all the running about. Preventing childhood obesity is really up to you now!
How the Food Revolution is Changing the Way we Think
In the last couple of years, things have definitely changed around in the cafeterias for the better. Jamie Oliver came to West Virginia, after running a successful program in the United Kingdom, planning meals that kids could hopefully adapt to.
This was definitely not easy. Most children were having pizza for breakfast and deep fried chicken nuggets for lunch - YUM!
However, with a lot of persuasion and dedication, Jamie Oliver managed to turn things around and make parents aware of the implications.
Not only is it diabetes that kids may be affected by, by childhood obesity is associated with heartburn, heart disease, asthma, and an overall poor quality of life.
It is important to take action now!
Have a look at this video to see how bad the situation actually was in the beginning.