Kids today are eating more and moving around less – and now they are starting to have serious health problems related to obesity!
Minorities and kids living in poverty are being hurt even more by this trend. For example: almost 1 of 4 Latino children in the US is overweight!
In many schools across the US there are even vending machines selling junk food – potato chips, soda and more! No wonder kids are gaining too much weight – the schools teach them one thing in the classroom and then don’t set the right example.
Many schools are now trying to figure out how to tackle the problem. Some have resorted to recording all the students heights, weights and BMI’s and storing all this information in a database.
On the positive side, some schools are now trying to ban the sale of soda and other junk food in schools.
But this problem isn’t restricted to just the US either! In Vietnam there is a problem with ‘Kids eating too much, exercising too little’. The problem has spread to Britain, Ireland, Australia and many other places around the world.
Even in China where 2/3 of the people in rural areas are malnourished, 580 million people are deficient in vitamin A and 3% of the urban population are anemic – 7.1 percent of adults are obese! But China is planning a public nutrition improvement program into its 11th Five-Year Plan to help with its problem ‘especially concerning children’.
So what can parents do? Or is the problem so big that parents are powerless
When your kids are young and at home you can exert some level of control over what they eat. But its hard to control what your kids eat when in school, especially if the school sells junk food to them.
And what about all those sugar coated cereals and other junk food commercials targeted to kids – during the shows kids watch the most? Even if you don’t let your kids see those commercials – what happens when your child spends time with other people and they are all eating candy and potato chips? Or they feed them french fries from a fast food place? Once they’ve had a taste of the high salt, fat and sugar in those foods it will be hard to keep them from wanting more.
How do you instill good nutrition habits in your child when the society around them keeps teaching them just the opposite? Or is it even possible?
- Please share the strategies you have used or some that you think might work!
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