Posts tagged with "obesity"

Children Running

Helping Children Maintain a Healthy Weight

Did you know that childhood obesity has more than doubled in children and quadrupled in adolescents in the past 30 years? In 2012, more than one third of children and adolescents were overweight or obese. Overweight is defined as having excess body weight for a particular height from fat, muscle, bone, water, or a combination of these factors. Obesity is defined as having excess body fat.

To help your child maintain a healthy weight, help them balance the calories they consume from foods and beverages with calories used up through physical activity and normal growth.

Remember that the goal for overweight and obese children and teens is to reduce the rate of weight gain while allowing normal growth and development. Children and teens should NOT be placed on a weight reduction diet without the consultation of a health care provider.

There is no secret to healthy eating. To help your children and family develop healthy eating habits:

  • Provide plenty of vegetables, fruits, and whole-grain products.
  • Include low-fat or non-fat milk or dairy products.
  • Choose lean meats, poultry, fish, lentils, and beans for protein.
  • Serve reasonably-sized portions.
  • Encourage your family to drink lots of water.
  • Limit sugar-sweetened beverages.
  • Limit consumption of sugar and saturated fat.

Remove calorie-rich temptations of high-fat and high-sugar or salty snacks and replace them with easy-to-prepare, low-fat, and low-sugar treats that are under 100 calories:

  • A medium-size apple
  • A medium-size banana
  • 1 cup blueberries
  • 1 cup grapes
  • 1 cup carrots, broccoli, or bell peppers with 2 tbsp. hummus

Enjoy these 10 tips for making great tasting snacks:

  1. Create a yogurt sundae. Top plain, low-fat or fat-free yogurt with fresh, frozen, or canned fruit, like bananas, strawberries, or peaches. Sprinkle whole-grain cereal on top for crunch.
  2. Make pita pockets. Stuff a small whole-wheat pita with sliced bell peppers, salsa, and a slice of low-fat cheese. Melt in the microwave for 15-20 seconds.
  3. Jazz up your favorite cereal. Make a trail mix. Stir 1/4 cup of unsalted nuts, 1/4 cup of dried raisins or cranberries, and 1/4 cup of whole-grain cereal together.
  4. Make a fruit sandwich. Cut an apple into thin slices. Spread peanut butter or almond butter between two slices to create apple sandwiches.
  5. Dip your veggies. Create veggie treats by dipping slices of cucumbers, peppers, and carrots into a low-fat salad dressing or hummus.
  6. Pack fresh fruit like bananas and oranges for after their school activities.
  7. Try a piece of cheesy toast. Toast a slice of whole-wheat bread and top a slice of your favorite low-fat cheese.
  8. Freeze your fruit. For a frozen treat on hot days, try freezing grapes or bananas. Don’t forget to peel bananas and pull grapes from the stem before freezing.
  9. Power up with roll-ups. Roll a slice of low-salt deli-turkey around an apple wedge or around a slice of low-fat cheese.
  10. Build a fruit salad. Mix your favorite sliced fruits such as pineapple, grapes, and melon.

For more helpful tips and resources for children and parents, visit www.choosemyplate.gov.


References

https://choosemyplate-prod.azureedge.net/sites/default/files/audiences/Tipsheet1_MakingGreatTastingSnacks.pdf

Investing in Our Future: Our Children

Investing in Our Future: Our Children

It’s easier to establish healthy behaviors during childhood than having to change unhealthy behaviors during adulthood. Chronic conditions are becoming increasingly common among children and adolescents in the U.S. Did you know that about 1 in 4 adolescents suffers from a chronic condition such as diabetes and asthma?1

Obesity On the Rise

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), “The percentage of U.S. children aged 6 to 11 years who were obese increased from 7% in 1976-1980 to nearly 18% in 2011-2014. The percentage of adolescents aged 12 to 19 years who were obese increased from 5% to 21% during the same period.”1

Developed by the CDC, The Whole School, Whole Community, Whole Child model brings together public health, education, and school health to improve health and learning. Children with chronic conditions may miss more school days which reduces their time for learning and may result in lower academic achievement. It’s important to manage these conditions effectively with the right nutrition and ample physical activity. Healthy behaviors are practices ingrained early in childhood and it’s essential that children and adolescents have a healthy school and healthy environment in order to succeed.

Physical Activity

Schools and parents can help increase the quantity and quality of physical education and physical activity during and after school hours. Benefits of physical activity have been proven to help build muscles and healthy bones, and improve strength and endurance. Physical activity can aid in managing weight, reducing stress and increasing self-esteem – which may positively impact children’s academic performance.

Diet and Nutrition

Creating healthy eating habits early in childhood life helps set the path to a healthier adulthood. Healthy eating along with physical activity help support proper growth and development and can prevent health problems such as obesity, diabetes, etc. Teaching and including children in healthy meal preparation and cooking is a great way to reinforce healthy eating habits as well.

Focus on Prevention

Did you know that:

  • 51% of all causes of death in the U.S. are attributable to lifestyle behaviors many of which are preventable through healthy lifestyle behaviors?2

  • 85% of all type 2 diabetes and its side effects are preventable?2

While some life events are out of our control and cannot be prevented, it’s clear that we can prevent many of the health problems by engaging in healthy lifestyle behaviors. Schools, parents, and health care practitioners can help educate children and adolescents to make smart food choices, exercise to build strong bodies and monitor their health and any chronic conditions they may have.

Manage Chronic Conditions

To reduce school absenteeism schools, parents, and health care practitioners can help by using proven practices to better manage chronic conditions such as asthma, diabetes, food allergies, etc. For more information about managing chronic conditions, visit www.cdc.gov, then click on Diseases & Conditions.


References

  1. CDC: http://www.cdc.gov/chronicdisease/resources/publications/aag/healthy-schools.htm
  2. Mokdad AH, et.al. Actual Causes of Death in the United States, 2000. JAMA. 2004; 291:1238-1245

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