It’s not complicated. Childhood obesity results from eating too many low-grade calories and not enough physical activity. It’s difficult for today’s precious kids to make healthy food choices and get enough physical activity when they’re exposed to parent’s poor eating habits, aggressive advertising, and peer pressure.
Hallelujah! Sugar drinks and less healthy foods are disappearing school campuses. About 55 million school-aged children are enrolled in schools across the United States and many eat and drink meals and snacks there. Yet, more than half of U.S. middle and high schools still offer sugar drinks and less healthy foods for purchase. Students cam graze on sugary drinks and unhealthy foods throughout the day from vending machines and school canteens and at fundraising events, school parties, and sporting events.
Some people have less access to stores and supermarkets that sell healthy, affordable food such as fruits and vegetables, especially in rural, minority, and lower-income neighborhoods. Supermarket access is associated with a reduced risk for obesity. Choosing healthy foods is difficult for parents who live in ‘Food Deserts” populated with convenience stores and fast food restaurants.
For weak reasons, physical activity has been discontinued in many schools. Most adolescents fall short of the 2008 Physical Activity Guidelines for Americans recommendation of at least 60 minutes of aerobic physical activity each day, as only 18% of students in grades 9—12 met this recommendation in 2007.Daily, quality physical education in school can help students meet the Guidelines.
Chef Wendell’s Ten Commandments of Healthy Eating for Parents
10. Thou shalt give thy child a food-based multi-vitamin / mineral supplement, not Flintstones, if he or she is a picky eater.
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