I was at a birthday party for my friend’s daughter—an adorable, crazy first grader who never seems to run out of energy. This never-ending reservoir of energy, coupled with her incredible ability to come up with new games on the spot, made for a long day for this old person.
We were having a blast until I saw something in the dining room that really irked me, and I haven’t been able to get it out of my mind since. There were 12 2-liter soda bottles, and seven 12 packs of soda cans. I have been noticing over the past few years that she has gained a little weight, but I never gave too much thought to why. I just assumed it was genetics (her parents are overweight), or just a phase in her life; I never considered the possibility that it could be the environment she is growing up in.
All you parents know better than me is that kids pick up on a ton of things adults do, and please remember that eating habits are no exception. According to the American Academy of Child & Adolescent Psychiatry, if one of a child’s parents are obese, the child has a 50% chance of being obese. If both of the child’s parents are obese, the child has an 80% chance of being obese.
It’s no secret that America has a childhood obesity problem. In fact, it’s reached epidemic proportions. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the percentage of obese children aged 6-11 more than tripled from 5% in 1980 to 18.5% in 2012. And while there are many factors that contribute to this alarming trend, one of the most significant is the increasing consumption of sugary drinks.
A typical 2-liter bottle of soda contains around 16 teaspoons of sugar, and a 12-pack of cans contains 36 grams of sugar. That’s more than enough to push a child over the daily recommended limit of added sugar, which is 25 grams for girls and 38 grams for boys. And yet, cases like my friend’s daughter are all too common.
Too many parents are unwittingly contributing to the childhood obesity epidemic by stocking their pantries with sugary drinks.
Obesity is mostly caused by poor eating habits, lack of exercise, overeating and stress, and can lead to heart disease, diabetes, poor sleep, high blood pressure and breathing problems.
It’s time to wake up and make a change. Let’s break the cycle of childhood obesity.
I know you all want the best for your children, and it starts with you. It starts with your eating habits, and setting a good example of what healthy foods to eat, how much to eat, and how to exercise regularly.
Please give us a call at 727-282-1800 to schedule a free workout with us to see how we get results.