Story by: Erin Wiedmar on September 6, 2019
This September we are focusing on healthy eating for kids during Childhood Obesity Awareness Month. Knowing that obesity correlates with increased risk of disease, mental health conditions including depression, higher risk of bullying, poorer performance in school and greater medical costs for life, it’s no wonder parents are concerned.
Continued exposure to high-calorie, shelf-stable processed food and beverages continues to be a main player in childhood obesity. Think breakfast pastries, sugar-sweetened granola bars and cereals, highly processed snack chips and sports drinks — they’re everywhere.
These days, most people understand what healthy food looks like — food that comes from the farm, not the factory — so why does it continue to be so difficult to get healthy foods to our plates?
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People are more oblivious to this subject than you would think. The severity is not understood and the connections between the behaviors and the results are not realized. “It’s just a cookie.” Not if you’re the third person to give that child a treat that day. You have to advocate on behalf of your children — don’t be afraid to say something. Don’t judge, just educate and provide suggestions.
Erin Wiedmar, M.Ed., RDN, L.D., CDE, is aclinical nutritionist with Norton Healthcare.