Obesity in Kids: Expanding Trend is Concerning and Solvable

Easy-to-get calories and sedentary lifestyles are causing kids to gain weight. One third of children (5-17 years) are obese in the world today. Sweet sugar and delicious fat in convenient processed foods, combined with a technology-hooked generation is tipping the scale and raising health concerns from diabetes to cancer. In addition, an alarming increase in the use of non-nutritive sweeteners in teenage girls raises concerns that our younger generations are not informed on healthy ways to lose weight.

What’s the Big Deal?

Childhood obesity has both immediate and long-term effects on health. Obese children are more likely to have high cholesterol and blood pressure putting immediate stress on their cardiovascular systems. Sleep apnea, pre-diabetes, joint conditions and social problems (poor self-esteem) are other challenges obese children may have to live with when they are young. Obese children are likely to be obese adolescents and adults having greater risks of heart disease, type 2 diabetes, stroke, osteoarthritis, and some forms of cancer (breast, colon, endometrium, esophagus, kidney, pancreas, gall bladder, thyroid, ovary, cervix and prostate).

Make it Easy

Childhood obesity has more than doubled in children and tripled in adolescents in the past 30 years. The solution is both community and parents working to make the healthy choice an easy one for children. Fun physical activities and consistent healthy food offerings can help tip back the scales and let our younger generations enjoy a healthier future.

An App for That

Our technology-hooked children and adolescents will love “There’s an App for that!” Check out myWholeLife Blood Sugar App – it has the how-to on making diet and lifestyle work together to manage blood sugar. Both kids and parents can use this helpful App to manage weight and blood sugar. It even includes a shopping cart feature, so as you’re discovering lower glycemic foods foods you’d like to try it helps you make a shopping list. Also, check out myWholeLife Weight Management App for effective weight loss tips including exercise plans, delicious recipes for a complete 7-day meal plan, and a list of foods to avoid— complete with suggestions on healthy swaps

References:

Statistics Canada http://www.statcan.gc.ca/pub/82-003-x/2012003/article/11706-eng.htm

Gardner C. Nonnutritive sweeteners: current use and health perspectives: a scientific statement from the American Heart Association and the American Diabetes Association.Diabetes Care. 2012 Aug;35(8):1798-808. Epub 2012 Jul 9 http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/22778165

Daniels SR, Arnett DK, Eckel RH, et al. Overweight in children and adolescents: pathophysiology, consequences, prevention, and treatment. Circulation 2005;111;1999–2002. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/15837955

Kushi LH, Byers T, Doyle C, Bandera EV, McCullough M, Gansler T, et al. American Cancer Society guidelines on nutrition and physical activity for cancer prevention: reducing the risk of cancer with healthy food choices and physical activity. CA: A Cancer Journal for Clinicians 2006;56:254–281. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/17005596