Posted on 05/10/2011
There are 12.5 million overweight children and teens in this country. The number continues to climb each year. Why? What's to blame? Who's to blame? There are numerous causes that experts have cited as the reason for this obesity problem. If you ask me, it really is plain and simple -- calories in versus calories out. If you consume more than you expend, then you will gain weight. It doesnt matter your age, it is the same for anyone...young and old.
Children today do not expend enough calories because they are less active than generations before them. They consume higher calorie foods and eat more meals too. Choices for unhealthy food are every where. Parents need to provide children what they should eat, not what they want to eat (unless it is a healthy choice). The UDSA also has outdated recommendations about what children need in terms of nutrition and schools are no longer in the business of education, rather feeding children unhealthy and harmful food. I also believe the marketing of unhealthy food to children is a form of abuse.
There, I've said my peace. Unpopular as it may be, I know it is right in my heart. These are the root causes of the obesity problem in this country, in my opinion.
The obesity problem is news and news adults should take very seriously, because kids today will probably not outlive their parents for the first time in history. The life-long side effects of being overweight or obese for a lifetime will also have a profound impact on our public health system.
Children are suppose to be our main concern, our utmost focus as adults, but often everything else gets in the way of their well being. Even profits get in the way; schools prefer to make money rather than serve healthier options (i.e., vending machines and fast food restaurants in schools), corporations cut corners and use inferior (and unhealthy) ingredients instead of more nutritious and often costlier options. Shameful and bordering on criminal, if you ask me.
To help get the word out about obesity, the state of Georgia has an obesity campaign called "Stop Childhood Obesity" and some believe it is going too far. You tell me it features obese children and is in the form of pubic service videos and billboards..."Chubby kids may not outlive their parents" with a picture of a child. The three-part campaign, in its first phase now intends to raise awareness...giving kids a voice, in their words, how it feels to be overweight. It is suppose to open the eyes of parents and educators. The next two phases will be "holistic" with kids happier on their journey of changing their lifestyles...eating healthier and being more active.
I totally applaud this effort and believe this problem must be dealt with seriously and immediately. I say, good for your Georgia for stepping up to the plate, recognizing the problem and doing something about it! I can't say the rest of the other 49 states in the union are doing much to help solve the problem, but maybe with the attention Georgia is stirring up, more will follow suit. Or, perhaps because of the naysayers, they'll be too scared to act.
Tell me...do you think Georgia is going too far with their childhood obesity awareness campaign? What do you think will help solve this problem?
She made healthy eating her mission in life long before anyone else did, in hopes of helping her own obese father. A registered nurse by training and entrepreneur at heart, she lives, eats and breathes everything about healthy eating and helping to improve people’s eating habits and overall health. She enjoys never having to bother with grocery shopping, cooking and counting calories. Her favorite SSHE meal, although it’s hard to pick just one, is the Potato Gnocchi with Basil Pesto Sauce.