How many times have you heard this and how do you usually answer? I say "no" all of the time because I don't want the extra calories and fat. However, there are many who say "yes" and a lot of them are children. It sickens me when I see parents allowing their children to eat very large portions of food. Yesterday at McDonald's, a father bought his family large drinks, fries, and burgers. Of course, I wanted to say something but these were not my children.
As you know, in the USA, food portions are too large and it has affected the waistlines of all of us, including those of our children. The rate of obesity in children has increased from 7% in 1980 to 20% in 2008. With adolescents, that same rate went from 5% to 18%. The incidence of obesity came as a result of increased caloric intake coupled with increased inactivity.The long-term effects our children being overweight, will be an increase in the rate of diabetes, cardiovascular and cardiocerebral diseases, such as heart attacks and strokes. Obesity can lead to other conditions like cancer, and osteoarthritis. What can we do now to prevent these conditions from destroying our youth?
- Make sure you are not eating out too often and make more home cooked meals
- If you do eat out, choose the child size entrees for children and why not for yourself, while you are at it
- Include for fruit for dessert and make vegetables the largest portion of the meal
- Eat on smaller plates (8 inches diameter) inch plate and don't pile up the food on the plate; attempting to build a pyramid would be counterproductive
- Turn off the computer and video games and make sure you and your family get daily exercise and outdoor week-end activities
- Your children's school has a huge part to play in their health. So, investigate they are teaching and encouraging healthy eating and providing daily activities