CHILDHOOD OBESITY

                       Chart from www.obesityhelp.com

                       Chart from www.obesityhelp.com

We can make a change!

In recent news, Mrs. Obama has been getting a lot of heat for changing some of the federal dietary standards for school lunches.  These same standards were approved by Congress and the President in 2010. The new food standards have been changed to help set limits on sodium, fat and caloric intake for our kids.  Many lawmakers are now saying that it is inflexible, ineffective and expensive.  But we are talking about our children's health.  Right?

The nation's food pyramid has been the basic standard for Americans for nearly 20 years.  It wasn't until 2011 that the food pyramid was updated and upgraded to http://www.choosemyplate.gov.  You may agree or disagree with the change but helping our youth make better choices when it comes to food is the first step in taking better care of their health.

There is a problem with childhood obesity.  With our lives getting busier and both parents having to work, it can be hard to monitor what goes into our kids mouths, as well as how often. As parents and guardians we have a lot to worry about when it comes to our kids but the silent killer of food is something we can control and have an open discussion about food with our children. 

On average as adults, 80% of our nation is overweight.  Our nation is one of the only nation with an abundance of food.  We tend to abuse it for various reasons and celebrate it for obvious reasons.  When you put that together, you are already eating too much food.  With video games and television, kids are less  likely to head outside when they are in love with their electronics. Same with adults.  We have our blackberries, ipads and smartphones to occupy and rule our time.

As you know, the food pyramid has now been updated and easier to read.  If you go to ChooseMyPlate.gov you can get ideas on how to keep your kids on the right track and make sure they are eating the right foods throughout the day.  What is so great about this new program (if it follows through), the foods suggested on MyPlate will be implemented into our schools and hopefully teachers can stress the importance to our children as well.

There are also other programs that you can get your children involved in.  The local YMCA (http://www.ymca.org) has great summer camps, as well as, after school camps that will keep your kids moving and busy.  For girls who love to run, there is a program called GIRLS ON THE RUN (http://www.girlsontherun.org/) and it's a great way to keep girls active and connected with other girls throughout the running season.  Also, your local gyms have fantastic programs for kids similar to YMCA but can be sports oriented.  

As a personal trainer and running coach, just like adults, kids need to be active EVERY SINGLE DAY! Our bodies are made to move, jump and run.  30 minutes a day (at minimum) can easily be squeezed into a 24 hour day.  For more information on childhood obesity and signs that your child may be overweight check out the following link (http://www.cdc.gov/obesity/childhood/basics.html)  and read more here as the week progresses!

Be Happy and Be Safe!

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