Yesterday I was going to post about this topic, but decided that I would watch the new episode of Biggest Loser first…Are you watching this BL season? If not, you absolutely should be.
This season, BL is tackling the topic of Childhood Obesity.
It’s an epidemic that’s taking over our country, and quite honestly, I find it completely terrifying.
Check out these statistics from the CDC:
- Approximately 17% (or 12.5 million) of children and adolescents ages 2—19 years are obese.
- Since 1980, obesity prevalence among children and adolescents has almost tripled.
- 1 of 7 low-income, preschool-aged children is obese.
- Children 8—18 years of age spend an average of 7.5 hours a day using entertainment media, including TV, computers, video games, cell phones, and movies. Of those 7.5 hours, about 4.5 hours is dedicated to viewing TV. Eighty-three percent of children from 6 months to less than 6 years of age view TV or videos about 1 hour and 57 minutes a day.
- The children of today are the first generation that is predicted to live shorter lives than their parents–for the first time in history.
Adults–we’re letting this happen. WE are responsible for this epidemic. And it’s about time that we ALL make a change.
Let’s stop making excuses and start making healthy choices.
Particularly if you’re a parent, but even if you’re just around a child once a week–they pick up on every little thing we do. Yes, you’re saying that “obviously we know they’re always watching”…but every little thing we do, they take it in, whether it’s consciously or subconsciously. Whether the child is 1 year old or 17 years old, they’re constantly observing our actions, situations, and the choices that we make.
Just because you don’t allow your children to drink soda, doesn’t mean that they don’t see you for drinking it. And they want to be like you. If you’re doing it, they’re going to want to do it, too.
Remember when I shared this commercial?
Fad diets and diet pills are not the answer, people.
It’s about making a complete lifestyle change, one small change at a time.
We have to get rid of the crap “food,” the soda, the hours upon hours in front of the television and videogames.
We have to teach our children that it’s FUN to play baseball in the backyard, to play in the snow, to walk the dog, and to dance in the middle of the living room!
We have to teach our children that it makes us feel GOOD to eat veggies and to experiment with how they’re cooked, to snack on fresh, sweet fruit, to drink water, and to occasionally enjoy a treat.
We have to teach our children that 7-8 hours of sleep a night (more for them) is imperative to being healthy, that talking to our friends is important, and that keeping our spiritual life growing plays a major role in our health, too.
We have to teach our children that being healthy isn’t a chore, it’s a privilege.
The beauty of this whole situation is that we have the power to change it all. By making even one choice better today than yesterday, we’re being a great example for our kids. By not buying sugary drinks (juice, soda), chips, or other packaged foods, we’re completely eliminating that temptation to snack on them while we’re home! If it’s not in the pantry, it can’t be eaten! Stock up on fruits, veggies, whole-grains, and nuts. Take 15 minutes on Sundays to plan meals for the week, and then show your children the value of cooking a delicious, healthy meal instead of lazily throwing a frozen pizza in the oven. Limit tv time to 1-2 hours (max) per day, and get up and play with your kids! Be healthy when they’re not watching so that it’s easy to make healthy choices when they are.
And remember too that it’s not just about how we look on the outside, it’s about how we feel and how our bodies are on the inside. That’s the true way to know that we’re healthy. Someone can look “skinny” on the outside but may, in reality, be extremely unhealthy (a topic I’ll dive into another day). We can’t judge a book by it’s cover, we can’t evaluate ourselves by the jean size we wear, we have to find happiness in knowing that we’re making healthy choices that will make us feel good and live a longer, fuller life.
I could talk about this subject for days, but I hope that this makes at least one person reconsider the choices they’re making, to maybe become a better influence on the children around them, or vow to make a healthier choice today.