Indiana parents are likely aware of the obesity epidemic facing children throughout the United States. The spread of high-calorie and low-nutrient foods throughout our culture and our increasingly sedentary lifestyles have tripled the number of obese children and teens.
Everyone is busy with life. Time for healthy eating and exercise seems to slip away. Peyton Manning Children's Hospital at St.Vincent experts are aware of the challenges that family members face in trying to maintain a healthy weight and eating habits.
Proof is in the numbers
The increase in foods high in calories and low in nutritional value, along with our increase in sedentary activities such as being on the computer, watching TV and playing videogames, is a challenging obstacle that is necessary to overcome.
- One in three children in Indiana is overweight
- Overweight is now the most common medical condition of children, according to the American Academy of Pediatrics
- Overweight adolescents have a 70 percent chance of becoming overweight or obese adults. The risk increases to 80 percent if one or both parents are also overweight, according to data from the Office of the United States Surgeon General. If these trends continue, by 2030, 86 percent of adults will be overweight or obese, sited by MedLine
Nutritional choices for kids
- Give six – or at least five- fruits or vegetables each day to be incorporated into meals or eaten as snacks.
- Serve lean meats and other protein sources, such as beans, eggs, fish and nuts.
- Get fibered up by choosing whole-grain breads and cereals.
- Push back on fat intake by using broiling, grilling, roasting and steaming as cooking methods instead of deep frying.
- Limit fast food and nutrient-poor foods, such as candy and chips.
- Dump the sports drinks and other sugary drinks in favor of water and milk.
Making Health Fun
The three-time NFL MVP and quarterback for the Indianapolis Colts, Peyton Manning is leading Indiana children to better health with Project 18 – a community and school-based program from Peyton Manning Children's Hospital at St.Vincent. It is designed to educate Indiana residents on the risks obesity poses and to encourage Indiana residents to lead healthier, more active lifestyles.
St.Vincent Health and Marsh Supermarkets have partnered to develop a kid's nutritional program by featuring Project 18- approved items in its stores each month.
Visit project18.stvincent.org to receive recipes, exercise tips and more.