Beyond. Health and Wellness Magazine July 2016 - Page 8

Healthy Diet is more important than ever. As a society, we see the effects of poor diet at a younger and younger age. Let’s first look at the eating behaviors of most kids • Most U.S. youth consumes less than the recommended amounts of vegetables, fruits, whole-grains, dairy products and oils. • And according to recent data, 91% of Americans don’t eat the daily recommendation of vegetables. • Most US youth eats more than the recommended maximum daily intake of sodium by over 90%. • Empty calories from added sugars and solid fats contribute to 40% of daily calories for children and adolescents aged 2–18 years, affecting the overall quality of their diets. Approximately half of these empty calories come from six sources: soda, fruit drinks, dairy desserts, grain desserts, pizza, and whole milk. • Adolescents drink more full-calorie soda per day than milk. Males aged 12–19 years drink an average of 22 ounces of full-calorie soda per day, more 8 7 than twice their intake of fluid milk (10 ounces), and females drink an average of 14 ounces of full-calorie soda and only 6 ounces of fluid milk. Statistics that help support why kids should eat more fruits and vegetables (All of these are from the CDC, Center for Disease Prevention or fitness.gov) • Childhood obesity has more than doubled in children and quadrupled in adolescents in the past 30 years. • In 2012, more than one-third of children and adolescents were overweight or obese. • Only one in three children is physically active every day. • Children now spend more than seven and a half hours a day in front of a screen including TV, video games and computers. • There is a huge difference depending on socioeconomic status. Nearly 45% of children living in poverty are overweight or obese compared to 22% of children living in households with incomes four times the poverty level. • Obesity-related illness, including chronic disease, disability, and death, is estimated to carry an annual cost of $190.2 billion. Projections estimate that by 2018, obesity will cost the U.S. 21 percent of our total healthcare costs – $344 billion annually. • Obesity is also a growing threat to national security – a surprising 27% of young Americans are too overweight to serve in our military. Approximately 15,000 potential recruits fail their physicals every year because they are unfit. • Overweight and obesity are the results of “caloric imbalance”—too few calories expended for some calories consumed—