critical mass: how to help foster healthy lifestyles for our children

critical mass: out of control salt, sugar, portions (wiki image)

obesity in children is reaching a critical mass in america and becoming a problem in developing countries. take a look at this article and explanatory graphics to see why and how we can help foster healthier lifestyles for our children today ~ sb
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In your child’s case, look to see which factors are coming together at the same time:

  • Fast food. The rise of cheap, low-nutrition, highly-processed foods is a major factor in child obesity. Regularly eating food from fast-food restaurants, instead of home-cooked meals, has become the norm for many kids.
  • Portion sizes. The sizes of typical portions have risen drastically in the last 20 or 30 years, both in restaurants and at home. As an example, the original size of a soda bottle was 8 oz., and it contained 97 calories. Today the average size of a soda bottle is 20 oz., containing about 250 calories. The same holds true for servings of French fries, sandwiches, burgers, chips — just about any food or drink you can name.
  • Snacking. Many kids get most of their calories they consume on a given day from snacks, not from regular meals. The snacks tend to be unhealthy chips, cookies, candy and sodas. Kids drink, on average, 24 oz. of soda a day.
  • Inactivity. The growth of unhealthy eating has been paralleled by the rise of inactivity. As every parent is aware, kids spend a huge amount of time using computers, TVs and video games these days. In the U.S., kids use these devices almost 8 hours a day.
  • Gym classes have been disappearing from schools, too: One-half of public elementary schools have PE only 1-2 days per week./li>
  • Ads. Kids are barraged with ads for unhealthy foods on TV, on the Internet, in text messages and in podcasts. The average child sees more than 40,000 commercials a year, most of them for junk food.
  • Less sleep. Kids are sleeping less than they used to, and that, studies have found, increases the risk that a child will become overweight or obese — even for infants and toddlers.

via Deepak Chopra: No More Laughing at Fat Kids.

McDonald's patron, 2006.

Unfortunately, this is McDonald's Biggest Fan (Image via Wikipedia)

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