Tips for Raising Healthy Weight Children

If you have children who are overweight or obese, I highly suggest you pick up a copy of my book Generation XL, which is packed with tools to transform the health of your children. In the meantime, I would recommend getting started on these crucial lifestyle changes right now:

1.     Set strict viewing limits for TV, computer and video games

2.     Make exercise a part of your family's daily schedule. Remember, children model your behavior more than anything else

3.     Get rid of the junk food and sweetened drinks

4.     Set family meal times and prepare home-cooked meals for your family

5.     Reward your children with kind words, not food

Where Americans Spend Grocery Money, 1982 vs. Today

Overall, about 90 percent of the money Americans spend on food is spent on processed foods. This includes restaurant foods (i.e. food away from home) and processed grocery foods that require little or no preparation time before consuming.

When looking at the ratio of money spent on store-bought groceries only, Americans spend nearly a fourth of their grocery money on processed foods and sweets—twice as much as they did in 1982—according to Department of Labor statistics. Pricing of meats, sugar, and flour has had a great influence our spending habits. These items have actually seen a decrease in price per pound, which has had an inverse effect on Americans' spending habits, in that cheaper prices encourage people to buy more.

The result is obvious. Compared with shoppers 30 years ago, American adults today are twice as likely to be obese, and children and adolescents three times as likely to be overweight. Pediatric type 2 diabetes—which used to be very rare—has markedly increased along with the rise in early childhood obesity. According to previous research, early onset type 2 diabetes appears to be a more aggressive disease from a cardiovascular standpoint. 

Soda—One of the Greatest Threats to Your and Your Children's Weight and Health

According to the 2010 Report by the Advisory Committee on the Dietary Guidelines for Americans, the top 10 sources of calories in the American diet are:

1.    Grain-based desserts (cakes, cookies, donuts, pies, crisps, cobblers, and granola bars) 139 calories a day

6. Alcoholic beverages

2.    Yeast breads, 129 calories a day

7. Pasta and pasta dishes

3.    Chicken and chicken-mixed dishes,               121 calories a day

8. Mexican mixed dishes

4.    Soda, energy drinks, and sports drinks, 114 calories a day

9. Beef and beef-mixed dishes

5.    Pizza, 98 calories a day

10. Dairy desserts

Between the previous graphic showing where the majority of food dollars are spent, and this listing detailing the top sources of calories in the American diet, it's easy to recognize that the dietary roots of the American weight problem is linked to carbs—sugars (primarily fructose) and grains—in the form of processed foods and sweet drinks. You've often heard me state that soda is the number one source of calories in the US diet, which it was, based on the 1999-2000 National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES). The updated NHANES survey above covers nutritional data from 2005-2006, placing grain-based foods in the top two slots.

Still, soda comes in at number four, and I still believe many people, particularly teenagers, probably still get a majority of their calories from fructose-rich drinks like soda.

Needless to say, obesity and its many related chronic health problems will also take a toll on your lifespan, and soda is a major culprit driving these sad health trends. Term Life Insurance may have an alternative motive for creating and posting an infographic online showing soda's effect on your body [11], but in this case the industry managers are actually trying to help you out while simultaneously adding to their bottom lines.


Suggested Reading

Why Am I Fat?
Fight Fat
Obesity in Children
Overcome 3 Common Barriers to Weight Loss
Low Vitamin D More Common in Overweight Kids
Vitamin D one of the Most Essential Vitamins
Rogers and TransformNation Partner to Fight Obesity



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