Before September comes to a close I wanted to acknowledge National Childhood Obesity Awareness Month. Obesity seems to have taken on a life of its own and becoming more aware of the problem and working on helping America’s children to develop healthy habits that can last a lifetime is a wonderful mission.
The Department of Health and Human Services has reported that the childhood obesity rate in America has almost tripled. The CDC, in 2010, reported that approximately 17% of children and adolescents aged 2-19 years were already obese; these children and teenagers who are obese are more likely to become obese adults, putting them at even a greater risk of developing serious adult health problems such as heart disease, type 2 diabetes, type 2 diabetes, stroke, certain types of cancer, and osteoarthritis.
On September 19, 2012 it was reported that adult obesity rates could exceed 60% in 13 States by 2030. The number of obese adults, along with related disease rates and health care costs are on course to increase dramatically in every State in the country over the next 20 years according to F As In Fat: How Obesity Threatens America’s Future 2012, a report released by Trust for America’s Health (TFAH) and the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (RWJF).
As I mentioned in a previous post concerning my own issues with weight loss, we all have choices each day to make ~ mine has to do with exercise and actually committing to it every day, along with the food I choose to eat.
I have found that keeping a food log each day has helped me control my portions and calories. The particular program I am on to lose the weight and get to a healthier BMI actually has a wellness site that I am able to go on each day and post this. It has been very helpful.
The report I mentioned above also stated that if States could reduce the average body mass index (BMI) of residents by just 5% by 2030, every State could help thousands or millions of people avoid obesity-related diseases, while saving billions of dollars in health care costs. This could be as simple as someone losing just 10 pounds.
Better food choices such as making more fresh fruits and vegetables available to children (instead of the high sodium and high fat choices found in fast food restaurants), along with more time for physical activity were two small choices suggested that could make a big difference. I also think being a great role model daily for our children and grandchildren by staying active and eating healthy food can also play an important role.
Fall is a great time to spend time in the kitchen preparing healthy, hearty soups. Children love to participate in creating mealtime. One mom shared her recipe for healthy pancakes in the morning as well as lots of different ways to get your kids to eat better. Check out her post here and here is her recipe for beginning the morning: make up batches of whole-grain pancake and waffle batter that last all week. For a batch that serves five, sift together 2 cups whole-wheat pastry flour, 4 tsp. baking powder, 1/2 tsp. salt, and 2 Tbs. sugar. When you’re ready to cook, mix in 2 Tbs. ground flax meal, 2 cups water, 3 Tbs. canola oil, 1/4 tsp. vanilla, and 2 Tbs. applesauce.
Going back to the 10 pound loss to create a 5% decrease in our BMI, in Brad Lamm’s book, Just 10 LBS ~ Easy Steps to Weighing What You Want (Finally), it is stated that just losing 10 pounds will also significantly decrease your risk for heart attack, stroke, hypertension, and diabetes. He also emphasizes creating a lifestyle that emphasizes the mind, body, emotions, relationships, and most important, your spirit.
I’m committed to not only lose the weight for myself but to be a role model for others, particularly the children I come in contact with, daily. How about you? Will you join me and make this commitment for yourself and those in your life during this important September 2012 of National Childhood Obesity Awareness Month?
Small changes can add up to a big difference.