Mary Poppins Was Wrong: Childhood Obesity Epidemic
A spoonful of sugar helps the medicine go down, but that sweet substance is single-handedly responsible for America's childhood obesity problem.
Childhood obesity statistics have more than doubled over the past 30 years. Today, over one-third of kids and teens are overweight or obese. At this rate, one in every three people will have diabetes by the year 2050. Why? According to Katie Couric's most recent documentary, Fed Up, sugar is to blame. That is, the shocking amount of sugar that's found in almost every commercialized food product — even those that claim "low fat" or "low calorie." But we can play the blame game all day long. When it comes right down to it, the parents are the real source of the problem. Specifically, their lack of knowledge when it comes to the food they're feeding their kids.
Did you know that drinking a 20-oz bottle of soda is equivalent to eating 17 teaspoons of sugar? Or that just one soda a day increases your child's chance of obesity by 60 percent? Overall, Americans consume an average of 130 pounds of sugar per year. If that doesn't open your eyes, I don't know what will. The thing is, most of us are bombarded by the 10 or more food-related ads we see per day; of those ads, over 98 percent are selling products that are high in fat, sugar and sodium — yet they claim to be "better for you" than their competitors' products. As a parent, you probably think, "Oh, this has fewer calories, it's healthier," and you switch from chocolate-chip frozen waffles to low-calorie frozen waffles … and you wonder why your kids still have a weight problem!
Your kids, on the other hand, are frustrated; they don't know how to lose weight, and they're missing out on their life because of it. They don't understand the difference between a high fructose calorie and a sweet potato calorie, and if we're being honest, neither do you! If we don't nip this obesity epidemic in the bud, it's only going to get worse. As the number of children who suffer from obesity continues to grow each year, each new generation is cursed to a life where "fat" reigns supreme. But what can we do to interrupt that pattern?
You can start by heading to your local movie theater and getting a ticket for Fed Up. At the very least, jump on the nearest computer and go to FedUpMovie.com to sign up for their 10-day Sugar Free Challenge. Don't worry, they offer plenty of tips and tricks to help get you through it, and by the end of the 10 days, you'll be craving healthier foods rather than sugar. While you're there, check out some of the facts and statistics they have on their page — if you're not already Fed Up with childhood obesity, you will be.
Next, grab your kids, grab your friends and family members, and if you are local to Laguna Hills sign up for the Get Real, Get Fit program right here at Fitness Evolution. Otherwise look for a great local boutique-style studio, and enroll your kids in a fun summer fitness program or challenge. Studios are doing some of the real work to create solutions for you and your family's fitness problems where we'll not only teach you how to create realistic meal plans for you and your family (including a healthy, teen-friendly kitchen), but we'll "get real" with your kids while we're at it.
Teens don't care about facts and statistics, they just care about looking good on the beach … and we know that! Right now, kids and teens are looking around and thinking, "It's okay if I'm a little overweight, half of my friends are too!" But it's not okay. In fact, their generation is the first generation that has a shorter life expectancy than their parents!
It's our goal to open your eyes to the realities of the obesity epidemic, and to hit it from both sides. But we know that your kids aren't likely to listen to you (or us) when it comes to talking about their weight (after all, it's not the most comfortable discussion).
It's time to give our kids, our grandkids and our great-grandkids the life they deserve! If you would like to join us for our 10-day Fed Up challenge, all you have to do is visit FedUpMovie.com. In the meantime, I hope I've encouraged you to think twice before you crack open that can of soda. Stop letting sugar rule your life!