Healthy Kids First: Step 4 in Reversing Obesity Trends in West Virginia
By Mandy Curry on September 08, 2012 from Healthy Kids First
- Our kids should be getting 60 minutes of physical activity each day. In WV, less than 30% report doing this. This is one area that we can make big strides in. Regular physical exercise improves strength and endurance, helps build healthy bones and muscles, helps control weight, reduces anxiety and stress, and increases self-esteem. Why wouldn’t we want that for our kids?
- No More Sugary Drinks. A McDonald’s sweet tea has 45 grams of sugar- nearly 4 times the amount of sugar a child should have in one day. Water, low-fat milk, and a 4-ounce box of 100% juice should make up their drinks for the day. Empty calories from added sugars contribute to 40% of overall calories for children and adolescents. Why would we want those extra calories for our kids?
- 5 Servings of Fruits and Vegetables per day. Want to see how easy that is? Check out this link for a visual. Our kids’ bodies are still forming. In fact, bones continue to grow well into teenage years. Why wouldn’t we want them to have every nutrient and vitamin possible to make sure their bodies and bones form properly?
- 4. Eat a healthy breakfast. The problem is that morning time is hectic, plagued with battles, and sometimes sitting down for breakfast feels too big to tackle. Eating a healthy breakfast is associated with improved attention, memory, problem solving, reduced absenteeism, and improved mood. Naturally, who wouldn’t want that for our kids?
Step 4 may sound easy, but it's not. If you can steer clear of sugary cereals (most of them are), pop tarts, and foods with syrups, you’re well on your way to a healthy start.