Foundations to Healthy Eating Starts in Childhood
Obesity rates in children and adolescents are on the rise with 18% of six to eleven-year-old children and 20% of teenagers suffering from childhood obesity.
That means that more than a third of children and adolescents in the United States are obese and by 2025 more than 268 million children and adolescents will become overweight or obese. With the increase in obesity came an increase in type two diabetes. Nearly four million children are afflicted with the disease. Although children don’t gain weight from eating carbohydrates as easily as adults do, the rates of childhood obesity indicate that kids are eating far more carbohydrates than their bodies can tolerate.
- On average, toddlers eat about a quarter cup of sugar a day!
- The average four to eight year old child eats a little less than a quarter cup of sugar a day.
- Boys between the ages of nine and nineteen consume an average of nearly a cup of sugar a day, while girls of the same age eat a half-cup of sugar a day!
Foods specifically marketed toward children contain massive amounts of sugar. A go-gurt contains three teaspoons of sugar while a bowl of raisin bran and skim milk packs a whopping thirteen teaspoons of sugar. As a mother of two children, I know firsthand how hard it is to get kids to eat healthy foods and sometimes it may be easier to give in to their demands and let them have a few cookies before meal time. But we have to remember that the foundation to healthy eating and a healthy adult lifestyle starts in childhood.
Diabetes, obesity and even heart disease can start to take root during childhood and many studies show that a poor diet can reduce a child’s IQ.
Ensuring that your kids eat healthy foods is a fight worth fighting!
Fact: Unless a significant change occurs, experts warn that the effects of childhood obesity could reduce average life expectancy by five years or more over the next several decades.
Awareness Challenge this week: Eat a Rainbow. Start a fun game where you have your kids pick their own 5 different colors of veggies and fruits to eat throughout the day.
Tune in next time; we’ll share some tips and meal ideas to show you how you can establish a foundation for healthy eating for your children.
In the meantime, if you’d like to know more about changing your unhealthy behaviors, reach out to us for our professional guidance and support. Give us a call!
“How one handles success or failure is determined by their early childhood.” – Ilarold Ramis
Blog Photo Credit: http://www.parentingwithpresence.net/how-to-guide-your-kids-to-eat-healthy-foods/
Cover Photo Credit: http://todayiatearainbow.com/