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Childhood Obesity – What’s the Big Deal?

ImageLet’s Move, Fuel Up to Play 60 and Kids Eat Right! What do all these programs have in common? They are all newly created programs aimed at helping kids get active and eat healthy. The problem is that despite all of their great efforts, childhood obesity is still on the rise! According to the CDC, Childhood Obesity has doubled in children and tripled in adolescents in the past 30 years. As more attention has been given to the issue, the problem has only continued to get worse. So, what’s the big deal? That’s simple! These children are at an increased risk to develop in to obese adults, opening them up to diseases such as diabetes, heart disease, several types of cancer and much more. Not to mention the immediate health risks such as pre-diabetes, sleep apnea and bone and joint problems; just to name a few!

The health costs associated with overweight and obese children are staggering as well! “Childhood obesity alone is responsible for $14 billion in direct medical costs”. 2 Who pays for that? Of course, we all do. But, it’s also a huge expense for the parents of these overweight children. There has been a lot of research in to the economic impact of childhood obesity and obesity as a whole! Much of this information can be found at this link.

The good news is that we can turn this around. It takes more than just a few organizations taking the initiative to raise a healthier generation of kids. We all need to use the resources available to raise healthy kids. Talk to your friends, family members and neighbors to make sure everyone you know has the resources they need to get healthy. Included below is a list of resource websites that have great information and games for teaching children about health and nutrition. The 7th Biennial Childhood Obesity Conference is coming up this month. Reach out to a childhood obesity specialist if you have any specifics questions, concerns or are interested in being a part of the solution. Of course, all of us here at NCES are always here to help! Please browse the Educated Kids section of our website to browse games, tear pads and other tools for teaching children about nutrition. Follow us on Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn to stay on top of all the latest nutrition news!

Child Nutrition Resource Websites:

1)      http://www.ncescatalog.com/Educated-Kids_c_92.html

2)      http://www.KidsEatRight.org

3)      http://www.fueluptoplay60.com/

4)      http://www.choosemyplate.gov/

 

Sources:

1)      http://www.cdc.gov/healthyyouth/obesity/facts.htm

2)      http://www.healthycommunitieshealthyfuture.org/learn-the-facts/economic-costs-of-obesity/

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Six Picks: The Top 6 Things You Need to Know About Eating Veggies

  1. Green Veggies. Green vegetables can help protect your eyesight and reduce your risk of developing macular degeneration, which is an eye disease that can lead to blindness. Some good choices for green vegetables are: broccoli, romaine lettuce, kale, spinach, brussel sprouts.  
  2. Red Veggies.  By eating red vegetables, you can reduce your risk of developing heart disease. Some good choices for red vegetables are: tomatoes, radishes, red bell peppers.  
  3. Yellow Veggies. Having a good dose of yellow vegetables in your meals can help strengthen your immune system, due to the increased amounts of vitamin C in these plants. Some good choices for yellow vegetables are: yellow bell peppers, squash, yellow corn.
  4. Orange Veggies. With the eating of orange vegetables, you can help yourself maintain healthy skin and bones, and help with eye health. Some good choices for orange vegetables are: carrots, pumpkin, sweet potatoes.  
  5. Purple Veggies. An interesting fact about purple vegetables is that they could help you guard your body from cancer. Some good food choices for purple vegetables are: eggplant, purple onions.  
  6. White Veggies. The advantages of eating white vegetables are reduced risk of heart attacks, and reduced risks of some cancers. Some good food choices for white vegetables are: mushrooms, onions, garlic, cauliflower, white potatoes.
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Six Picks: The Top 6 Things You Need to Know About Fruits

  1. Green Fruits. Green fruits can help protect your eyesight and reduce your risk of developing macular degeneration, which is an eye disease that can lead to blindness. Some good choices for green fruits are: limes, kiwi, honeydew and green grapes.  
  2. Red Fruits.  By eating red fruits, you can get antioxidants to ward off inflammation, urinary tract infections, and reduce the risk of certain cancers. Some good choices for red fruits are: watermelon, red grapes, cranberries, strawberries, cherries, pink grapefruit, papaya.  
  3. Yellow Fruits. Having a good dose of yellow fruits in your meals can help strengthen your immune system, due to the increased amounts of vitamin. Some good choices for yellow fruits are: grapefruit, pineapple, lemons.
  4. Orange Fruits. With the eating of orange fruits, you can help yourself maintain healthy skin and help with eye health. Some good choices for orange fruits are: apricots, cantaloupe, peaches, mangos.  
  5. Purple Fruits. An interesting fact about purple fruit is that they could help slow down age related loss of brain activity, and act as an anti-inflammatory or guard against certain cancers. Some good food choices for purple fruits are: blackberries, plums, prunes, blueberries, raisins, purple grapes, figs.  
  6. White Fruits. The advantages of eating white fruits are reduced risk of heart attacks, due to the high potassium content. Some good food choices for white fruits are: pears and bananas.