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Over Weight And Undernourished: The Childhood Obesity Epidemic

Posted Sep 12 2012 6:09pm

From Southeastern Missourian…..

Here’s a simple fact: Our children are overweight but undernourished! Childhood obesity has more than tripled in the last 30 years. Currently, one third of children are overweight or obese, putting them at risk for type II diabetes, heart disease, high blood pressure, and even stroke — conditions usually associated with adulthood. As recent headlines stated, Missouri ranks 11th as the fattest state in the country, Illinois ranks as the 23rd fattest. These facts are astounding, and that is why September is Childhood Obesity Awareness Month — a time to spotlight this epidemic and take action to make our kids healthier.

The good news is that small changes in eating habits can make a big difference. By following recommendations from the MyPlate icon, kids can eat a more healthful diet. MyPlate recommends choosing choose low-fat and fat-free dairy products, fruits, vegetables, and whole grains. By choosing these healthy foods, kids will get nutrients that are critical to lifelong health without the empty calories.

Parents can help too. Encourage and model healthy eating for your kids. Make daily breakfast a priority. Encourage or plan for a nutritious school lunch. And when kids come home from school, prepare healthy snacks. Whether at school or at home, don’t forget the dairy in your child’s diet! Dairy products are a substantial contributor of many nutrients important for child health, including calcium, potassium, vitamin D, and protein.

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