There have been many articles recently on obesity in children. One posted on CNN today states that 1/5 of all 4 year olds are obese. That’s 20 percent. I remember the days when it was rare to have one overweight child in a neighborhood, let alone one in every five being obese. And these kids aren’t even in school yet!
What\’s the difference between overweight and obese? Overweight= BMI of 25.0 to 29.9. Obese= BMI of 30+
Some people say the cause of childhood obesity is hard to pinpoint. Is it really? Dr. Tom Robinson states: “We know most of the changes that have occurred in body fat tend to occur from being in an environment that promotes very easy access to high-caloric foods and limited opportunities for physical activities.”
Exactly. Just go to a convenience store or a supermarket and see all the boxes and wrappers of processed “foods.” Most adults don’t eat meats, veggies and fruits. And guess what, kids eat what their parents eat. Plus kids are flooded by the media for sugar, candies, and chocolate (translation = money for manufacturers and advertisers, health problems for kids).
Michael Rich, an associate professor of pediatrics at Harvard Medical School, offered an interesting idea to combat childhood obesity: the 5-2-1-0 plan: “Eat at least five servings of fruits and vegetables, cut screen time down to two hours or less, exercise at least one hour, and have zero soda and sugary drinks.”
I would edit that to have zero sugary, processed FOODS. The sugar doesn’t just come from drinks. Just look at a few examples: Cocoa-puffs, Snickers, donuts, cakes, and ice creams. Children eating these items every day, and most times more than the normal serving sizes, causes these problems. Lack of exercise does not help either.
Our paleo ancestors would be shocked and dismayed. I’m sure even paleo children had to be fit to survive – to help their families and villages get food and shelter. Survival is no longer an issue – instead we have plenty of extra time to stuff ourselves and our children with sugary sweets.