Biggest Loser and
By: Doug Wilson
This year I have been watching the Biggest Loser, which has three obese children this season. These kids are Ambassadors for their generation, which means they are in the spot light losing weight.
During the Episode “Cut the Junk” the contestants had a trivia challenge. The trivia was all about Childhood Obesity. While watching these horrible statistics about our children, I could not help from crying. My daughter is two years old and I do not want to lead her to this life.
I’m so glad that I am a Team Beachbody Coach and am on my journey to losing weight and getting healthy for my family.
Obesity by the numbers
Over the past three decades, childhood obesity rates in America have tripled, and today, nearly one in three children in America are overweight or obese. The numbers are even higher in African American and Hispanic communities, where nearly 40% of the children are overweight or obese. If we don’t solve this problem, one third of all children born in 2000 or later will suffer from diabetes at some point in their lives. Many others will face chronic obesity-related health problems like heart disease, high blood pressure, cancer, and asthma.
How Did We Get Here?
Thirty years ago, most people led lives that kept them at a healthy weight. Kids walked to and from school every day, ran around at recess, participated in gym class, and played for hours after school before dinner. Meals were home-cooked with reasonable portion sizes and there was always a vegetable on the plate. Eating fast food was rare and snacking between meals was an occasional treat.
Today, children experience a very different lifestyle. Walks to and from school have been replaced by car and bus rides. Gym class and after-school sports have been cut; afternoons are now spent with TV, video games, and the internet. Parents are busier than ever and families eat fewer home-cooked meals. Snacking between meals is now commonplace.
Thirty years ago, kids ate just one snack a day, whereas now they are trending toward three snacks, resulting in an additional 200 calories a day. And one in five school-age children has up to six snacks a day.
Portion sizes have also exploded- they are now two to five times bigger than they were in years past. Beverage portions have grown as well- in the mid-1970s, the average sugar-sweetened beverage was 13.6 ounces compared totoday, kids think nothing of drinking 20 ounces of sugar-sweetened beverages at a time.
In total, we are now eating 31 percent more calories than we were forty years ago–including 56 percent more fats and oils and 14 percent more sugars and sweeteners. The average American now eats fifteen more pounds of sugar a year than in 1970.
Eight to 18-year old adolescents spend an average of 7.5 hours a day using entertainment media, including, TV, computers, video games, cell phones and movies, and only one-third of high school students get the recommended levels of physical activity.
Now that’s the bad news. The good news is that by making just a few lifestyle changes, we can help our children lead healthier lives–and we already have the tools we need to do it. We just need the will.
Commit right now that you will do something active with your child tonight. This can be reading to them instead of watching TV. Play a game of Hide and Seek or another game that involves walking around the house. Take your child to Chick-fil-a and let them play in the jungle gym area to run off some calories.
I know it is Winter and is more difficult to get outside, but there are many ways to be active inside. Comment below what activity you and your child did today.