Thursday, April 5, 2012

No more sugarcoating! Childhood obesity in Georgia is NO Joke!


 
Strong4Life Addresses Growing Number of Children Who Likely Will Become Overweight or Obese Adults
Georgia health care system continues fight against childhood obesity

It's time to wake up. We must open our eyes and look around.  Kids are now suffering from diseases once seen only in adults. We can't continue to ignore the fact that Georgia has the second highest rate of childhood obesity in the country. Nearly 40 percent of children ages 10 to 17 in Georgia, or almost a million kids, are overweight or obese. 

Doctors at Georgia-based Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta, the largest pediatric health care organization in the United States, are on the front lines of the state’s childhood obesity epidemic, treating patients in their Health4Life Clinic as young as 3 years old for complications related to obesity.

The causes of childhood obesity are complex. Poor nutrition and lack of physical activity influenced by factors including family dynamics, school systems and societal norms are all thought to contribute to the issue,” said Dr. Stephanie Walsh, medical director of child wellness at Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta. “But ultimately, we can’t prevent or even treat the health issues associated with childhood obesity if the people caring for our kids don’t recognize that there is a problem.”
  
In a continuing effort to raise awareness against childhood obesity Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta has created a series of videos like “Stop the Cycle” and webisodes that follow the kids from the 2011 ad campaign on their journey to wellness. Children’s goal is to move the state of Georgia out of the top 10 list for childhood obesity by 2016.

Simultaneously, Children’s has already begun to implement solutions into communities statewide, including training more than 1,000 health care providers, nurses and dieticians to discuss obesity with their patients; going to more than 100 schools to share with children the importance of healthy eating and physical activity; and educating more than 430 day care center staff to use Strong4Life toolkits to teach healthy habits at an early age. Children’s is also partnering with local mom bloggers to help raise awareness about the issue via social media and help inform the next steps in the movement.

Visit the website for the movement, Strong4Life.com, for updated resources for families and webisodes showing the progress being made by real Georgia families to make healthy lifestyle choices.


Eating healthy, healthy kids, starts at home

 

If you ask me, what changes have I implemented at home? I think the biggest one is restricting fast foods, and NOT letting the kids eat at school. My kids now take their own lunch to school. 


I was completely fed up with the menu. Corn-dogs for lunch and pizza for breakfast.. really? Common, don't preach the kids about embracing a healthier lifestyle if you are going to serve them corn dogs for lunch. 
 
We also drink fat free milk, eat light bread, fat free cheese, sugar free drinks, and use cooking spray instead of butter. 

If we ever eat a hot dog (which is very rare) is usually fat free. When we cook burgers we always use 99% lean turkey ground beef. 

We also bake instead of fry and always have fruit in the kitchen counter just in case someone gets hungry. 

Kiddos loves eating light yogurt and almonds have now become my favorite snack. 

Video games hours are restricted and my kids spend A LOT of time outside playing with other kids. 

We still have a long way to go in terms of embracing a healthier lifestyle, but at least I feel we are moving in the right direction.  


Have you implemented a lifestyle change to fight childhood obesity at home? Feel free to share with us on the comment section.






 
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