Posts Tagged ‘childhood obesity’

Propensity for Obesity Declines

July 30, 2015

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The obesity epidemic in the United States seems to be showing signs of slowing down.

The New York Times reports that the decade long slide into obesity is on the decline. Using statistics collected from barcode data and food production estimates, this is the first sustained decline in the 40 years that diet and calorie consumption has been tracked.

Children are showing the biggest difference, cutting back an average of 9% of thier intake since 2004. The average adult has cut back to 2195 calories per day, from the 2003-2004 amount of 2269.

Non-diet soda consumption fell 25% since the beginning of 2000.

Before we get all excited about the positive change, we still have a long way to go. Almost 35% of all adult Americans are still obese, with high risks for stroke, heart disease, type 2 diabetes, and some types of cancers.

While there is a drop in non-diet soda consumption, Americans are still drinking an average of 30 gallons of it annually. Worse yet, diet soda is a petrie dish of chemicals, linked to it’s own laundry list of health woes.

Americans are not coming close to meeting their ideal targets for eating fruits and vegetables. According to LiveScience, we are only consuming about 13% of the recommended daily requirements for fruit, and 9% of the required vegetables.

The best news is the change in children’s intake, marking a shift in awareness. Mrs. Obama’s Let’s Move and healthy eating programs seem to be having a postive effect on this age group and their parents. Let’s hope that schools and families continue embrace a healthier lifestyle for their children.

 

We Are Hungry

September 27, 2012

First Lady Michelle Obama has done considerable work to help fight the battle of childhood obesity and instill the concept of healthy eating in young people across the country. As a result of this, school lunches have been limited to 850 calories, and kids across America are complaining it’s not enough.

Shockingly, others are agreeing.

According to various university researchers, teenage boys require between 1,800 and 3,200 calories per day. Girls need 1,600-2,400 calories per day. This range is contingent on body composition and activity levels.

It seems that the issue is not really calorie restriction. It is the quality of the food being served.

It is important to note that most fruits and vegetables, low fat dairy, fish, poultry and lean cuts of meat are relatively low in calories. An 850-calorie lunch, consisting of fresh, healthy food would likely be more than most growing kids would be able to consume in any given meal.

A group of high school students in Kansas have put together a protest video, set to the tune of “We Are Young” by F.U.N. and retitled it “We Are Hungry.” The video claims that the lunches are not sufficient to provide the energy needed to participate in sports.  It shows kids sneaking off to fill up on fast foods and processed snacks to give them more sustenance to get through the day.

Once again, the point has been missed. Any athlete will tell you that high calorie, high fat, high sugar, processed foods are not the key to performance, and often make people feel sluggish after eating them. Providing fresh and healthy “real foods” are the key to controlling weight and energy levels. Educating youth on proper nutrition, and giving them the right foods to help make healthy choices is a better idea.

House of Mouse Launches a Healthy Marketing Initiative

June 7, 2012

Today, Disney announced a new initiative that would impose strict guidelines on the foods that are advertised on their TV shows, radio stations and sold in their amusement parks.

With First Lady Michelle Obama by his side, Robert Iger, Chairman of the Walt Disney Company unveiled plans to ensure that all food advertised, sponsored or promoted through its media outlets meet federal dietary guidelines and encourage the consumption of fruits and vegetables, limit portion sizes and calories, and have a reduced sugar, saturated fat and sodium content. The plan will be fully implemented by 2015.

Iger also announced the new graphic symbol called a “Mickey Check”, which will appear on all branded food items sold at parks, resorts and grocery stores which feature Disney characters on the package. These foods currently include fresh fruit, dairy items and drinks. The “Mickey Check” features the tag line. “ Good for you – fun too!” and will serve to assure parents that the food they are purchasing is healthy.

The Disney announcement fully supports Mrs. Obama’s “Let’s Move” campaign, which promotes a healthy and active lifestyle for children. Having Disney’s iconic characters helping fight the battle of childhood obesity is a pivotal change in how we market to children.


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