Fat Kids

Have you heard “Oh, it’s ok, it’s just baby fat!” ?

Well, baby-fat turns into ‘puppy’ fat which turns into adult fat. Kids that are overweight, are more likely to turn into adults that remain overweight.

It can sometimes be traced to genetics, but it’s more often down to too much food, particularly junk food, and too little exercise.

Kids used to play in the street, or at the park, and more and more now sit in front of the computer, TV, or games console for hours on end instead.

Kids don’t need to be put on fancy diets either. That can often promote unhealthy ideas later in life, and give kids the impression that they need to be picky and fussy about what they eat. It’s good for parents to lead by example. No good telling junior they shouldn’t eat candy or fast food junk and should exercise if they frequently see you snacking on chocolate or pizza while not moving from the couch all day.

It’s no going to work if you suddenly decide to go on a healthy eating regime, and expect them to follow along without protest either.

Just stop buying one or two items. Cut back on chips. Let them have one bag a week, not three bags a day. The same with soda. It works best for ourselves, and for kids too, if we’re gradually weaned off the junk.

Try and make time to sit at the dinner table and eat, not at the TV. It promotes family conversation too, and gives you an opportunity to show enthusiasm for healthy options, by talking about them. Educate kids about what is best for them, but don’t ban them from junk totally or they’ll simply rebel and go buy it with their allowance behind your back in any case.

Often too, it’s good to cut back on portion size. Remember that your body takes about 20 mins to tell your brain that’s it’s full, so try and eat more slowly. Make it more of a family event, rather than the latest TV episode. You’ll all enjoy your food more, and less food will be more filling, and without feeling stuffed and bloated afterward.

TV Junk Food

BY the time the average American child has reached the age of 18, they’ve watched between 10,000 and 15,000 hours of television, and seen up to 200,000 commercials, according to research done for the Children’s Television Act, passed by the US Congress in 1990.

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Also, a recent study undertaken by the Center for Science in the Public Interest (CSPI) for that almost 80% of foods that are advertised on the Viacom network of stations are too high is fat, salt and sugars.

At the same time over 25% of American children are overweight or obsese, and this is leading to health problems, both as children, and later in adult life.

The Advertising Coalition reports that $10-$15 billion is spent annually on kids’ food advertising.

Researchers found that for each additional hour of television viewed per day, daily servings of fruits and vegetables decreased among adolescents possibly due to television advertising (Boynton-Jarret, R, 2003)

So, it could be in your child’s interest, and also your own, to watch out for some of those many junk food commercials on the TV.

Next time you sit down to look, see how many food commercials promote healthy eating of unprocessed natural foods, and how many fall into the category of junk.