Our children live in an obesogenic world. That is the medical term for the things in our environment that make us fat and unhealthy. The causes behind the child obesity epidemic include a sedentary lifestyle plus a diet that is:
- High in sugar
- High in fat
- High in salt
- Low in fiber
Here are some startling facts about children’s diets that are making them unhealthy:
- The average 8-year-old watches 4,000 junk food commercials a year. This encourages them to eat the worst of the worst. After 4,000 commercials showing kids having tons of fun eating lots of delicious, unhealthy foods, who is going to want to listen to Mom when she says to eat your broccoli?
- Children 40 years ago rarely had high cholesterol, hypertension, or glucose intolerance. Now 60% of kids who are overweight have at least one of these problems. Obesity in kids also increases asthma, liver dysfunction, sleep apnea, and Type II diabetes.
- Kids have a sugar habit even before they start school. Four-year-olds eat over 60 pounds of sugar per year. That’s 40 pounds more than recommended amount.
We have known this for years, so why does the problem of childhood obesity continue to get worse? Some blame the schools, some blame the parents, and some blame the soda companies or fast food joints.
So, what can be done?
The 5-2-1-Almost None program is a fantastic start.
It stresses a daily routine for kids with 5 or more fruits and vegetables, no more than 2 hours of screen time, at least 1 hour of physical activity, and almost no sugary beverages.
It’s time to leave the obesogenic world behind! Make the 5-2-1-Almost None guidelines the healthy choice for your family.