How many times have you given that order to your kids? I know my mother might have to insist my brother, Lenny and I to get out of the house when we got too glued to our black & white TV set back home in New Orleans. But Mother, we're watching Lassie! LOL. These days though, it's not some 21-inch TV set the kids are glued to. It's more likely to be the 5-inch screen of a smartphone or larger screen of some other handheld electronic device. Know what I mean? Sure you do. The problem is all of that screen-time is making today's children even more inactive than back in the days when the living room TV set was king. That's no good. Because that inactivity is making obesity more of a problem for today's children than ever. Oh, oh!
A study of about 500 10th graders found that less than 10% of them got 60 minutes of moderate-to-vigorous physical activity each day.
A study in the journal Pediatrics followed about 500 10th graders for four years and found that less than 10% of them got the recommended 60 minutes of moderate-to-vigorous physical activity each day. The result of that bad habit is that today's children, like I said, are more likely to become overweight. And overweight children are likely to turn into overweight or obese adults. Worse, obese adults are more likely to remain obese adults. I sure don't like the sound of that.
In these modern times, we have become a very sedentary society. That's compounded by the fact that we eat more. Today's restaurants, having picked up on that fact, are serving larger-sized portions when we eat out, too. But it gets worse. A big percentage of the foods we eat at home or on-the-go, are those oh-so-bad for our bodies calorie & fat rich processed foods. Many of them contain empty calories that offer us very little, if any nutritional value. Add all that to the sedentary lifestyles led by adults and---the children following their lead--then you see how we can end up being overweight, obese and of course, a lot less healthy.
Now that school has begun again, if you pack your own children's lunches, what kinds of foods are you sending them off to school with? Are you making sure they begin their days with a healthy breakfast? A well-balanced healthy breakfast is a must for getting the day off to a good start. It'll send your children off to school more energized and ready to learn. And by the way, eating a healthy breakfast will do the same for you.
I worked hard (with your help) to get physical education reintroduced into America's schools as part of the core curriculum.
Of course, it's not just about what we eat, which is extremely important. It's every bit as much about how much time we spend exercising each day. I worked so hard (with your help) to get physical education reintroduced into America's public schools as part of the core curriculum. But you parents still have to do your part at home.
Be sure to set the right example for your children with the lifestyle you're living. Remember, you children will take many of those healthy-living cues from you. Explain to them why exercise and maintaining a healthy weight are so important. Encourage them to put down those E-devices every now and then. Hey, they may go through a little withdrawal at first, but in the long run, you know it will be good for them. That's right, tell your kids to put down the E-toys for at least an hour each day and to have a little fun the old-fashioned way. Tell them to...
Go outside and play!