As a survivor of childhood and also adult obesity, when I hear the new stats come out about how much childhood obesity has risen over the past 20 years, it both sickens and saddens me. When I was a kid I was one of the 2 or 3 heavy kids in class, now the classes are filled with well over 30% obese and overweight children. According to the CDC, approximately 17% of children ages 2-19 are obese in America alone. But how do organizations like the CDC categorize obesity in children? At your child’s doctor appointment, the physician calculates their BMI (Body Mass Index), and compares it to children across the country of the same gender and age. If they find your child’s BMI placed in the 95th percentile or above, they would classify them as obese.
Childhood obesity has steadily been on the rise over the past 15 years, rising 3.3% from 1999 (See Figure 5), and more than doubling from 1970. Alongside this, childhood obesity rates are steadily increasing at the same rate as adults, indicating that a parent’s lifestyle choices could be having an affect on the obesity rate. Recent studies have further aided this idea, stating that what a parent eats, a child will eat (in most cases). And with fast food, junk food, and soda being the go-to meal or snack, the odds they will want to follow suit are high. Let’s face it, foods that are bad for us can be pretty darn tasty. However, they are never ever good for us. Foods like this are full of empty calories, saturated fats, trans fats, hydrogenated oils, high-fructose corn syrup, GMOs, high volumes of sodium and the list goes on. All things we shouldn’t be eating if we want to remain healthy.
The side effects of childhood obesity can also shape a child’s future forever, with obese children being more likely to become obese adults. According to the National Center for Biotechnology Information, “About a third (26 to 41%) of obese preschool children were obese as adults, and about half (42 to 63%) of obese school-age children were obese as adults.” That is a startling fact that deserves a great deal of attention, considering that obesity can also lead to a whole host of physical and mental problems. Some physical factors include an increased risk for Type 2 Diabetes, cancers and heart problems, as well as a shortened life span. Mental side effects of obesity as a child include low self-esteem, school bullying, poor school performance, depression and overall emotional eating to combat the depression.
So in closing, if parents are the real “role models” for their child’s eating and exercise patterns, what can they do? I suggest changing your lifestyle. If it’s not for yourself, do it for your children. The changes you make now can affect generations to come. Some of my top suggestions would be cutting out processed foods, becoming more physically active and being overall more mindful of the decisions you make in regards your health. Below is a list of recommended foods, foods to avoid and supplements that are helpful to balance blood sugar. World of Nutrition would also like to help. Come into our store today, and one of our knowledgeable staff would be happy to lend a hand.
Foods to Avoid:
Alpha Lipoic Acid
First Image Ref: https://pixabay.com/static/uploads/photo/2015/11/19/04/53/remove-1050366_960_720.jpg
Img Ref for Graph: https://authoritynutrition.com/12-graphs-that-show-why-people-get-fat/
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