Do you really know how many calories your kids are consuming? If you are like most parents, probably more than you realize. I have been helping kids and their families to overcome childhood obesity in my Seattle weight loss and Bainbridge weight loss offices since 1997 and for the past 3 years online via Skype. Childhood obesity is a preventable and reversible epidemic that is fueling rising healthcare costs and weakening America’s military readiness. Sadly, only 23% of new recruits meet the physical standards required by the military due to obesity. Each of us has a responsibility to stop the abuse of our nation’s children. I beg of you, vote with your wallet and stop buying food that makes kids fat and sick and stop taking them to fast food restaurants.
How Many Extra Calories
Add Up to Obesity for Kids?
HealthDay News, July 30, 2013: Overweight kids may be consuming far more calories than their doctors or parents realize.
The new model tries to more accurately estimate the energy requirements for growing girls and boys. It also accounts for kids’ higher metabolisms, relative to adults, and takes into account the drop in physical activity that happens with age as frenetic toddlers turn into sluggish teens. And last, study authors factor in the increased energy required to maintain a bigger body size with age.
The study predicts that it takes far more calories for children to gain weight than experts had realized.
For example, the old model estimates that for a girl who’s a normal weight at age 5 to become 22 pounds overweight by the time she’s 10, she’d need to eat around 40 extra calories a day — the equivalent of the calories in a small apple.
The new model predicts that she’d actually need to eat far more than that — about 400 extra calories a day, or the calories in a medium serving of fast-food french fries — to get the same result.
The point of these examples is that the excess calorie consumption is much larger than most folks would have suggested in the past.
Using historical data collected by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the study authors calculated that children today are an average of 13 pounds heavier than kids were in the late 1970s, before the start of the obesity epidemic. To gain those extra pounds, kids have consumed about 200 more calories a day.
Importantly, given the rather large calorie excesses fueling childhood obesity, this model is a rebuttal to the food industry arguments that exercise alone can be the answer.
For our kids to achieve healthy weight, control of calories in, not just calories out, will have to be part of the formula.
Obesity has also become the main cause of ineligibility for recruitment in the US, leading the Pentagon to worry about the impact the trend will have on its fighting forces. Retired Lieutenant General Mark Hertling said in a 2009 speech that 75 percent of civilians who wanted to join the force were ineligible due to being overweight. (Too Fat to Serve)
We can and we must end the abuse we are causing our children. We simply cannot afford to continue feeding our children food and beverages that make them fat and sick. Ending childhood obesity is a family affair and together we can make a difference. Vote with your dollars – buy plant strong food.
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