Veggies for your kids
❝ According to a 2015 New York Times analysis of government and private-sector data, the number of calories consumed annually by the average US child declined 9 percent between 2004 and 2013. And yet, researchers from Duke and Wake Forest have found that trend has not improved the child obesity situation.
Using body mass index data from the National Health Examination Survey, which tracks randomly selected households with health exams and surveys every two years, the researchers calculated moderate (class 1), mid-level (class 2) and extreme (class 3) obesity rates among kids aged 2 to 19. Here’s what they found…
The “overweight” rate — which encompasses the above “obese” categories as well as slightly overweight kids — also nudged upward from an already-high level: 28.8 percent from 1999 to 2000, compared with 33.4 percent from 2013 to 2014…The authors broke out data by age, gender, and race, and not a single group showed a statistically significant decline in obesity or being overweight over the time frame…
So, despite the above-mentioned drop in calorie intake, our kids are still packing on too much weight too fast. What gives?
❝ …Barry Popkin, a veteran obesity researcher…said that while kids have eased up on problematic items like sugary sodas in recent years, they’re “not shifting the quality of their diets toward healthy foods.” Instead, “we continue to see our children mainly eat what we would call junk food,” relying heavily on cookies and other grain-based sweets, along with plenty of salty snacks, fruit juice (which acts an awful lot like soda in our bodies), and other sugary beverages.
❝ A recent analysis of another big federal data set, the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey, bears out Popkin’s claim. When infants transition from baby food to solid food, they still tend to get plied with plenty of processed junk and few vegetables…The report noted that 40 percent of babies get brownies or cookies, and that French fries and chips are the most common form of vegetables kids eat by the time they’re two years old.
And we carry forward from there to the expected. Insufficient exercise, proper training to develop lifetime, lifestyle habits. Politicians without inclination to challenge the least lobbyist for crap food sold to meet budget cuts in school cafeterias. And on and on.
Letting beancounters overrule what we do to and for our children should be a crime.