Childhood Obesity Still A Growing Trend - KTRE.com | Lufkin and Nacogdoches, Texas

1/5/04 - Lufkin

Childhood Obesity Still A Growing Trend

by Stuart Burson

Adults aren't the only Americans getting heavier. The number of kids suffering from obesity is skyrocketing. The numbers are startling. Eleven percent of our children nationwide are considered obese. You may not think that's too much, but here in Texas, that number jumps to thirty-five percent. The number of kids considered obese has also increased by sixty-one percent over the past ten years.

"The reason it has increased is primarily due to our lifestyles. Our lifestyles are totally different than they were ten or even twenty years ago. Children are less physically active... they're eating more fast food. Families don't tend to eat as a family unit every evening, they're all on different schedules." Says Dietitian Amy Mcleod.

Despite these alarming numbers, Amy says there are some things parents can do to help reverse this trend.

"They can bring their children in to see a registered dietitian. Because if they can do that, if they can schedule an outpatient program like we have here at Woodland Heights. That's a great opportunity for the children to come and really learn as a parent and a child."

Amy also suggests getting involved with the school districts concerning what our kids eat there.

But despite the popularity of diets these days such as the Atkins or Southbeach diets, Amy does not recommend them for kids.

"It would not be advisable to put a child on a diet such as the Atkins diet, primarily because it's restricting major food groups such as carbohydrate. And children should really be on a well-balanced diet and should not have any one particular food group restricted."

Simply put, healthier meals, and more exercise can make a big difference in our young people's lives and help avoid future health problems down the road.

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