"Dost thou love life? Then do not squander time,
Five Tips to Fight Childhood Obesity By Steve Edwards
By far, the most prevalent health and fitness headlines concern obesity, mainly the rise of childhood obesity. Here are a few facts and figures to
help keep your kids fit and trim.
We're surrounded by fitness solutions at every turn, yet the obesity epidemic is still growing like mad. On a short trip to three countries in Europe last summer, I found an obesity feature on the cover of seven publications. While not nearly at U.S. proportions, there's an obvious "alarm" going off around the globe. For example, what's considered to be a high rate in Europe is nearing 9%, whereas in the U.S. it's hovering around 30%. At any rate, the rest of the world is now scared enough by the problem that it's become major headlines. And an interesting fact is that in some countries where starvation is still a viable threat, obesity rates are still on the rise.
This leads to the main question as to whether it's due to poor diet or lack of exercise. There is no question about obesity following the pattern of fast-food restaurant dispersal; all you have to do is look at a map. However, the latest studies are showing that even with Big Macs and Big Gulps, caloric consumption among children is not going up as much as exercise levels are coming down.
Recent studies by British medical journal The Lancet, the Archives of Pediatrics & Adolescent Medicine, the Journal of Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism, and the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition have all consistently shown that exercise is the central determinant of whether kids are overweight. The figures show that kids are consuming approximately 3% more calories than they did in the '70s but getting a whopping average 20% less exercise!
Another interesting fact is that affluent society is now at just as great a risk as low-income groups. In the early 1970s, 22.5% of people with incomes below $25,000 were obese, while just 9.7% of people with incomes over $60,000 were obese. Today obesity is growing the fastest among Americans who make more than $60,000 a year. Since higher income groups tend to eat "healthier," or at least can afford to change their diets easier, this is another signal that exercise matters more than diet.
But the number of obese children is still rising among all socioeconomic classes, and it will keep growing unless lifestyle changes are made and people become more aware of the situation. No economic class is immune from obesity. Especially hard on the lower classes is the fact that the least healthy foods tend to be the cheapest, making it very difficult for those children to eat properly.
All of this leads to a very serious situation. Obesity affects more than how you look. It increases the risk for a number of diseases, including diabetes, stroke, insulin resistance, and hypertension. Obesity carried into midlife may also have damaging effects on the brain.
Finally, all is not lost. It's not that hard to be fit and healthy. It just takes, more than anything, a change in mindset. Here are five tips to start you out.
Congratulations to Our August Video Success Story: Matt W.
Matt is a member of the Team Beachbody® Club.
From the Newswire
Here are some of the latest health- and fitness-related news items.
Atkins Declares Bankruptcy
Obesity Skyrocketing in the Developing World
But When Are They Forming a Four Square League?
But I Like the Couch. It's Comfortable.
No Way! Kids Hate Fun!
Customer Recipe: Light and Fresh Lentil Salad
Beans, beans, beans! Once summer roles around, it seems like everywhere you turn someone's making a bean salad! Sure, they're healthy and delish, but how many beans can one person consume? Fortunately, Beachbody babe Meredith D. has a recipe that saves us from answering that question. Her salad takes on an entirely different legume, the lentil.
Thanks for the great salad, Meredith. Enjoy your new Beachbody T-shirt!Ingredients
1 can lentils, drained and rinsed
1-2 red peppers, roasted and chopped
2 green onions, chopped
1/3 cup light feta cheese
1-2 large cloves garlic, finely minced
1/4 cup fresh parsley, chopped
1/4 cup fresh lemon juice
2 Tbsp. olive oil
Salt and pepper to taste
In a large bowl, toss together all ingredients, incorporating everything evenly. If you want a milder garlic flavor, leave the salad in the fridge overnight.
Options: If you want to make more salad but don't want to add more lentils, add 1/2 to 1 cup cooked whole wheat couscous with the salad. You can substitute lime juice for the lemon juice or use a mixture of both. If lime or lemon juice isn't available, use 2-3 tbsp of balsamic vinegar instead.