Thursday, August 4, 2011

Obese = Fat

It's soon back to school for the kids in the next few weeks. It's back to the basics for you parents.

Growing Healthy Kids is a movement to not just halt and prevent, but to reverse childhood obesity. The only way this will happen is if you are crystal clear on why the health and lives of children who are obese are threatened.

If someone is obese, they are fat. They weigh too much. They are eating too much. They are eating the wrong kinds of foods. They don't get enough exercise. They probably don't sleep very well. They may be having joint problems. They are at higher risk for developing diabetes, including its nonreversible consequences such as blindness and amputations of the lower legs and feet.

Stop pretending that there are no overweight and obese children in our communities and in our own families. According to our national health department, CDC, approximately 17% of all children in the U.S. between 2 and 19 years old are obese and one in 7 low-income preschool aged children is obese. ONE IN SEVEN. Not good.

The childhood obesity crisis will not be solved until we adults learn some things (hence, today's lesson). When 2 in 3 adults are overweight and obese, we are the problem.

Start by figuring out your own Body Mass Index. The BMI is not perfect and there are some limitations. However, it is an excellent reference to begin making choices.
If you don't know your BMI number, go to for a BMI calculator. All you need is your height and your current weight.

Are you at a healthy weight? Yes or no?

If not, then pay attention. Make your first goal to not gain any more weight. Use smaller plates. Use half as much butter. Switch from 2% milk to skim milk. Eat more vegetables and fruit. Pick at least one of these things and do it starting today.

Growing Healthy Kids is a movement to improve the health - and lives - of America's - and the world's children, one garden and one child at a time. Do your part. Be the solution.

Love to you all,
Nancy Heinrich
Founder, Growing Healthy Kids