Yes, I said it. September is National Childhood Obesity Month. With more than 23 million children and teenagers in the United States ages 2 to 19 obese and overweight, I thought we all could use a bit of education on a shockingly high statistic that health and medical experts consider an epidemic.
Obesity rates are affecting our youth in alarming fashion, I thought turning to the experts to provide us an education would be helpful.
Not only are these numbers alarming, but this epidemic puts nearly one-third of America’s children at early risk for Type 2 diabetes, high blood pressure, heart disease and even stroke – conditions usually associated with adulthood. Major health consequence as well as financial implications, obesity requires $14 billion per year in direct health care costs in the U.S alone. Are you listening yet?
And if you think the issue is mainly children under 5, think again. Childhood obesity has increased more than fourfold among those ages 6 to 11.
The majority of us are guilty of eating poorly, then passing this bad routine onto our children. So lets kick off this Fall season with a healthier plan. Many summer fruits and vegetables are still available and the autumn ones are becoming more plentiful, there are so many delicious and healthy options. We all remember the food pyramid – the recommended minimum number of servings of 5 fruits and vegetables per day.
This food group is packed with nutrients that can help our bodies stay healthy in so many ways; from helping protect us from cancers and other diseases, to boosting our fiber intake, to helping us maintain a healthy body weight by potentially reducing our overall calorie intake.
And the variety of colors can make any meal or snack more appealing any time of day!
With so many wonderful reasons to add fruits and vegetables to your daily diet, why not make them the main event on your breakfast, lunch and dinner plates today? Like I said, start small and your ideas will grow.
For additional tips on how to help the children in your life, click here to learn more…