This week’s New York Times revealed what our country is facing: childhood obesity and raising children who have more health issues than their parents. The article’s title is: Gastric Bypass Surgery for Obese Children. Bypass surgery for children? There is something seriously wrong with this concept.
Our food supply is toxic; for convenience we feed our children processed packaged foods; we don’t have time to cook, and by the way – let’s operate to fix this problem.
Our nation needs a big wake-up call. First Lady Michelle Obama launched her anti-obesity campaign for children and it comes not a moment too soon. How can we help the children in America live a long healthy life?
There needs to be a direct correlation with the government incorporating policies to subsidize fruits and vegetables (versus corn that causes the problem) along with parents who model that practice in the home environment.
A great first step is addressing how you shop. Shopping around the perimeter of grocery store allows you to buy foods that are fresh and wholesome, rather than processed and refined. Eating real whole foods means you don’t have to read a label, since apples and broccoli are label-free.
Foods you buy with a label should have less than 5 or 6 ingredients. The more ingredients a food has the more processed it becomes.
Does the label contain any ingredients you can’t recognize or pronounce? Answering this question may be a clue the food is not the healthiest choice.
Besides food choices, exercise and activity are non negotiable for children. The American Diabetes Association encourages a minimum of 300 minutes of activity or exercise per week for health. Currently children get 700 less activity calories per day than a decade ago – potentially a 72 pound weight gain per year.
Studies show cooking and eating at home is a huge component combating childhood obesity. It is up to us to provide our children healthy meals and activities to decrease their risks – otherwise we may out-live our children. Our youth is faced with enough obstacles without having to have a major surgery. Remember, it’s prevention not prescription.