Child obesity has become a serious epidemic in the United States, UK, Canada and Australia. It is not clear who the culprit is, some blame the schools and their cafeteria lunches, others blame the parents.
We do not like to place blame, rather, we encourage the education of parents and school workers. People need to be taught about what foods are bad for us and will lead to obesity in both adults and children and which foods will keep us strong, full of energy and lean. One of our health sponsors, skinnyfiberreviews advocates for children and youth to eat more fiber in their diets and to exercise more.
As you can see in this chart, child obesity has increased dramatically since 1974 for all age groups, particularly children between the ages of 6 and 11 and have gone from skinny to obese.
Jennifer Marie states:
“I was obese as a child and many children laughed at me. Let me assure you, child obesity is no laughing matter. I felt helpless, alone, and had no idea what to do to start losing weight and getting my health back.”
Health education in addition to physical education in schools are one way to combat child and teen obesity. When children learn why they should consume some foods and why they should avoid others, they are less likely to make poor decisions. It may seem unfair to some children. Their friends can stuff their faces with McDonald’s happy meals and bags of chips or chocolate puddings at lunch and still are as skinny as a stick. Other children eat sensible lunches and pig out on the weekends and that weight sticks permanently. Parents need to start giving their children meals that are laden with fiber and vitamins.
A healthy breakfast would start with a tall glass of water, a piece of fruit (preferably one low in sugar such as a granny smith apple or a cup of berries), a 1/2 cup of bran flakes or all-bran in skimmed milk.
For snack at school, another piece of fruit and a small bag of mixed nuts and raisins or a yogurt. It is essential to have some proteins with each meal in addition to carbs.
For lunch, schools often are responsible for providing the children with their daily meal. This can become very problematic because many children are able to select what they’d like to eat. This leads of course to teens or youth opting for a greasy burger on white bread or a large serving of fries. Top it off with a coca cola and a brownie for dessert. The child might have just consumed their daily total of allotted calories for their height and weight in just one meal.
This is why we encourage parents and school leaders to protest or promote change in their school cafeterias. We have an amazing opportunity to educate the kids while they are young so that they will make sensible decisions when older. Why not take this opportunity and train these kids to be healthy lean machines so they do not suffer from the same problems we did growing up.
If you would like to hear more about our thoughts on child and teen obesity or have other insight to add, please do not hesitate to contact us.