NutrItIoN for KIds
e ig h ing
Te prevalence o obesity amongour nation’s youth has more than dou-
bled in the past 20 years, with close to5 million youths aged 6 to 17 seriously overweight or obese. Te concernscaused by overweight are more thana cosmetic issue. Childhood obesity leads to a variety o health problems,such as type 2 diabetes, high bloodpressure, and heart disease.
Te Cen-ters or Disease Control and Preven-tion recently ound that 60 percent o overweight 5- to 10-year-olds already have at least one risk actor or heartdisease, such as raised blood pressureor insulin levels.
Many adolescent boys and girls inthe United States are currently tryingto lose weight (36 and 44 percent, re-spectively). One-ourth to one-third o dieting adolescents practice unhealthy or even dangerous diets.
In a study o 5- to 12-year-olds, 45 percent o thegirls and 20 percent o the boys re-ported having been on a diet.
Cuttingcalories dramatically is oen eectiveat lowering weight or the short term,but this usually results in overeatingor binge eating and regaining o any lost weight. High-protein, low-carbo-hydrate, and very low calorie diets arenot sae or children or teens.Instead, children (and adults)merely need to switch to healthy oods.When the diet is built rom ruits, vegetables, grains, and legumes, weightmanagement is much easier, and puttinglimits on calories is unnecessary. For
o n He a l t h
People who maintain a healthy weight throughout liestay well and live longer than those who are overweight.Te liestyle habits that help keep us slim—exercise and ahealthy diet—also cut our risk o diabetes, heart disease,high blood pressure, and some cancers.