Our Overweight Children: What Parents, Schools, and Communities Can Do to Control the Fatness Epidemic

Our Overweight Children: What Parents, Schools, and Communities Can Do to Control the Fatness Epidemic

Our Overweight Children: What Parents, Schools, and Communities Can Do to Control the Fatness Epidemic

Our Overweight Children: What Parents, Schools, and Communities Can Do to Control the Fatness Epidemic

Synopsis

This handbook is for parents with overweight children and medical professionals who work with this population to help insure they don't grow up to be adults with serious health problems related to their excessive weight.

Excerpt

For millions of school-age American children, a typical weekday goes something like this.

For breakfast kids serve themselves chocolaty frosted cereal from a box that features a cartoon character. Often there's no time to eat breakfast at home, so they grab prepackaged snacks to eat in the car. One parent might get out sweetened juice drinks and “Lunchable” processed meals for them to eat at school or say, “Here's money for lunch—and snacks. ”

At school they shun the cafeteria's tasteless fare. Students flock to hallway vending machines, or to nearby fast-food outlets, and load up on “big grab” chips, “big gulp” sodas, “super-size” fries, and “grande” nachos. Their schedule blocks out time for computer lab, but not for recess or gym class. When school lets out they get rides home, since walking is considered unsafe, and they spend the remainder of the afternoon in front of the computer or television. Commercials whet their appetites for more sweet and salty snacks.

As night falls, one parent works late and the other turns to household chores. Neither has the time or energy to prepare a meal from scratch, and besides, a premade “value meal” is cheaper to buy. An extralarge “familysize” entrée—high in fat, salt, and calories—comes out of a box, goes into the microwave, and gets snatched up with fingers rather than forks. Between bites, family members alternately watch TV, talk on the phone, and . . .

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