Posts Tagged ‘Lee Jackson’

Childhood Obesity Myths and Facts

PowerPlay Obesity Management

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Childhood obesity is a common problem. In fact according to the CDC, Center for Disease Control, childhood obesity has more than tripled in the past 30 years. Approximately 15 to 20 percent of our children are overweight or obese. This epidemic has caused several myths to surface. Myths only distort understanding. Let’s clear some of these myths up so childhood obesity can be faced and dealt with.

Myth #1 – Soda causes childhood obesity

Soda alone doesn’t cause diabetes. A child who drinks a lot of soda and also has poor eating habits may be obese. If that same child is also living a sedentary life, then obesity may be the result. However, soda alone does not cause obesity, but it does contribute to it.

Myth #2 – Obesity is inherited and you can’t do anything about it

It’s true that you tend to see obesity run in families. If a child is obese, chances are the parents are also obese or overweight. However, it is uncommon for genetics to cause obesity. Occasionally a child may be born with a hormonal imbalance that causes obesity, but that’s not the norm.

In most cases a parent has simply passed on their poor eating habits and inactive lifestyle to their children. Those two elements combine to cause obesity. Eat a healthy diet and get active and obesity can be reversed, even if the parents stay overweight.

Myth #3 Obese children are just lazy

Absolutely not. Obese children are the same as any other children. They love to play and be active. However, it’s also very easy to be sedentary today. Video games, electronic devices and television all keep children indoors and on the couch. Children of all ages and sizes need to be motivated by the adults in their life to get outside and to move their bodies.

Obesity can be reversed. Children can learn to live a healthy and active lifestyle. They can grow up into strong and healthy adults. However, they need the help of the adults in their life. They need guidance, controls and limits. They may also need motivation from time to time.

The Center for Childhood Obesity offers these simple recommendations:

* Five fruits and vegetables each day
* 2 hours of screen time, or less, each day
* 1 hour of physical activity each day
* 0 sugar sweetened beverages each day

Childhood obesity doesn’t have to be a life sentence. In the majority of cases, the simple act of eating healthier foods and getting active can turn it around. Learn the myths and uncover the facts about childhood obesity. Help your child live a better life.

To the health of you and your child,

Lee Jackson, CFCS
Specialist in Family and Consumer Studies

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Creating Healthy Habits for Life

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One of the best ways to prepare your children for a long and healthy life is to get them started early with their own healthy habits. This is best taught by example. When the entire family practices healthy habits, they’re more likely to stick with your children for life. Here are six healthy habits to create for you and your family.

#1 Drink water. Most of us just don’t drink enough water. Sure, we’re hydrated but it’s often with calorie and sugar heavy beverages. Skip the soda, juice and sweetened drinks and stick to water. It may be a tough transition for the entire family. Make the change gradually.

#2 Consume far less during mealtime. We’re a super-sized society. We’re accustomed to eating a lot during mealtime. Work on eating smaller portions during mealtime. Serve more vegetables on the plate and less protein and starchy carbohydrates.

#3 Move your body. Find a way to be active each and every day. Walk or bike to places when you can. Take hikes and family walks together. Play sports or engage in physical activities. The more you’re active as a family and on your own, the more your children will be active too. An active lifestyle is key to a healthy mind and body.

#4 Appreciate food for what it is. There’s nothing wrong with enjoying food and consuming treats in moderation. When people have a healthy appreciation for food, they eat healthier. However, when they use food to soothe their emotions or as a reward, it creates a misguided relationship with food. Children will learn to turn to food as a coping mechanism. Parents can help by not using food as a reward or punishment.

#5 Make more food at home. Takeout and prepackaged foods are sometimes necessary, but they’re usually not very healthy. However, when a family makes food at home using fresh produce they’re more likely to eat healthy and to develop a healthy relationship with food. Make cooking a family activity on the weekends when everyone is home together.

#6 Eat less sugar. Sugar is in just about everything we eat. It’s in bread, sauces, it’s sometimes even in lunchmeat. Help your family break the addiction to sugar by choosing low sugar and no sugar options. Cookies and snacks are okay occasionally but they shouldn’t be an everyday choice.

One of a parent’s most important responsibilities is to be a good role model. As your child grows they’ll learn about healthy habits from you. They watch, they emulate and they adopt your habits. Creating healthy habits as a family will help your children grow up healthy and strong. They’ll take the habits they learned as children into adulthood.

To your health,

Lee Jackson CFCS
Specialist in Family and Consumer Studies

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