Thursday, January 10, 2013

Chubby kids

DISCLAIMER: **These are my opinions - with exception to the statistics, those are factual - I'm not professing to know everything or be doing anything perfectly. I just noticed something that bothered me and this is my sounding board.**

Yes this is a stock photo, but the fact is that this child exists,
and is an accurate representation of one-third of American kids.
 The apartments I live in is riddled with them. The mall is oozing with them. The grocery store has them waddling around like a troupe of penguins... We as a society seem to have a serious epidemic. Our kids are fat. In fact, 1/3rd of this country's kids are obese. Think of two of your friends' kids. One of your kids is fat. What does that mean for you?

Fat kids in America

According to the American Heart Association:
  • Among children ages 2–19, about 1 in 3 are overweight and obese (BMI-for-age at or above the 85th percentile of the 2000 CDC growth charts.):
    - 32.1% of all boys
    - 31.3% of all girls 

  • Among children ages 2–19, about 1 in 6 are obese (BMI-for-age at or above the 95th percen- tile of the CDC growth charts.):
    - 17.8% of all boys
    - 15.9% of all girls 
Do something to change the stereotypes and statistics. Prove everyone wrong.
(NH means non-hispanic)

More often than not, the parents that I see with the chubby children are morbidly obese. It's easy to connect the dots... fat parents who eat like crap and rarely do anything active = fat kids who eat like crap and rarely do anything active.

The little girl is overweight. What are the parents setting her up for?
Diabetes? Death by heart attack at age 40? Self-esteem issues? Yep.

It seems to me that it takes a lot of work to keep a kid still (think a group of preschoolers... ants in their pants), so what that tells me is that these parents are making a conscious effort to maintain their level of couch-iness. They would have to be telling the kids to sit still, be quiet, and play on their tablet/game console/tv/whatever. But inactivity isn't the only thing keeping these kiddos metabolisms at a stand-still...

Food and diet

Diet. To many, it's a 4-letter word. To others, it's a lifestyle. To me, it's lots of little decisions that make up a big picture. For instance, it's a small but good decision to pick a carton of organic tomato soup that's going to go bad in the next week, as opposed to a can that's good for years. Tomatoes shouldn't stay good for years... If it can stay in the can without changing, what's it doing to your child's body?


Not only that, but the "foods" that are presented to children as "kids food" at restaurants are invariably fried, carbs, cheese, and fried cheese with a side of carbs. It's surprising to people when they see my toddler reaching for the broccoli instead of the potatoes... but that shouldn't be the case. 

If introduced at an early age with a positive attitude and parents who lead by example, kids will eat the same foods as the parents. No need to "dumb down" their dietary choices. If your child is already at the "I don't like vegetables" age and you are afraid they're too old to change, think again. It might take a few days (or weeks!) but once you assert your authority as the parent, lead by example, and start using the word "No" a bit more liberally, your kids will get the picture and jump on the health wagon! 

Sum-up of my rant:

-Say 'no' and stay strong when your child asks for food he/she shouldn't have
-Choose healthy alternatives to your normal foods
-It's more expensive, yes, but if you don't take care of your body, nothing else really matters.
-Get out and find inventive ways to be active
-Include your kids in shopping decisions to get them excited about being healthy

I know it's a cheesy picture, but wouldn't it feel good to look at your family and see yourselves in similar situations?

One-third of American kids being overweight or obese is WAY TOO MANY!! Keep your kids healthy and change this country.

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