Analysis: New obesity research shows U.S. eating habits need to change
A new scientific study on obesity in young American children has brought more depressing news. It appears we now are starting our children on the path to obesity before they can even eat solid foods.
According to the research nearly one-third of 9-month olds are obese or overweight, so are 34 percent of 2-year-olds, the study analyzed a nationally representative sample of children born in 2001.
The nation does not look good.
The study is one of the first to measure weight in the same group of very young children over time, lead researcher Brian Moss, a sociologist at Wayne State University in Detroit said to LiveScience. The research showed that when kids start out heavy that it puts them on a path to stay that way.
"If you were overweight at nine months old, it really kind of sets the stage for you to remain overweight at two years," Moss told LiveScience.
The article is really a very good read, as it examines statistical data in-depth.
Now, on to the problem - the obesity rate. It’s like a wildfire out of control and now it has spread to the nursery and consumed the babies as well.
Scientific evidence continues to show us that this is a problem that resembles the spread of dangerous disease. Babies are heavier than they’ve ever been, and the ones that get heavy are likely to stay that way for life.
So, what can we do?
Well, it is time parents and even non-parents took an honest look at their eating habits. I hate to break it to you, I know it’s a bummer sometimes, but guess what? Eating healthy takes work. If you don’t get in the habit of being a smart eater, you will pass your bad habits on to your children.
You have to read packages, and you have to search for nutritional labels. One easy thing you can do to get the eating habits in order is to simply avoid corn syrup. It sounds simple but it will most likely help.
Why? Well corn syrup, despite all of the assurances from Corn Refiners Association, does strange things to your body. Expert Sara Novak and many others say that it messes with the body’s metabolism in a way that makes it difficult to stop eating.
It is hard to control the desire to eat because the nasty syrup slows down the release of leptin in the body. Leptin is an important hormone in the body that tells you that you’re full and to stop eating.
It’s no wonder that corn syrup is closely related to obesity, it’s like an over eating drug and it’s being put into an ass-load of our food. This is the same food that is usually refined and processed, and not good for you anyway.
Another thing to watch out for is mainstream food ads and the marketing that usually comes along with them.
Let’s get real, marketers and ad people are good at getting us to buy things that we don’t need. When they’re really good they play with our psychology and that creates a demand that wasn’t there before. It works on us, and we’re supposed to be the adults. What do you think being constantly bombarded by junk food ads does to your kids?
It makes them into little Pop-Tart crazed consumers.
You may already be aware of this, but society needs to do a better job of controlling the influence that advertising and marketing campaigns have over our culture. I’m not saying advertising is bad, I’m simply saying that we should be aware of the effect it can have on people.
This is especially true when it comes to food, ads and children.
Moderation in food intake is an important lifelong principal for good health. How can children learn this when they are indiscriminately given food by their parents and then bombarded with ads on TV and the Internet that create confusion in their ignorant little minds?
We often have more control over grim situations than we realize. Do a little food research and screen your food for questionable, funny sounding chemicals.
As for the ads we need to come up with some kind of a system to limit kids' exposure to ads (especially food ads) over TV and the Internet. A technology based system perhaps. However, that is a topic for another column.