Children and The Sugar Crisis

Posted by Admin on July 8, 2006

At the age of only 13, Mark Vindman ballooned to a whopping 229 pounds. But, today, he’s on a rigorous nutrition and fitness plan that’s getting him back on track. “I have challenges of not being able to eat sweets anymore. And not being able to eat fried food anymore, but eventually I grew out of it, the risk of dying, the risk of having cancer, and diseases that I really didn’t want to have,” says Mark. With a record number of overweight children, our kids are at tremendous risk for developing dangerous disease. Their only option is winning the battle of the bulge..it’s what they’ll need to survive. “One of the ones that we‘re most concerned about is the issue of type 2 diabetes. We live in an environment where it is easy not to get too much physical activity, where it is easy to have access to lots and lots of food and food that has high caloric densities, has lot of calories, doesn’t have a lot of nutritional value, and so there is the tendency to eat more than we need, and to not move around enough,” explains Dr. Lisa Altshuler of the Kids Weight Down Program at Maimonides Medical Center.

According to medical experts, many parents fall into the sugar trap, and, unknowingly contribute to their child’s weight problem…using everything from ice cream rewards to not reading food labels. “There are many different ways to say sugar, from high fructose corn syrup to molasses , avoid more of those kind of processed kinds of foods, and try to eat as much as you can more naturally. It’s not just about sugar, it’s about sugar, it’s about added fats, it’s about trans fats, it’s about big portions,” explains Dr. Altshuler.

Encourage physical activity, get them on the playground, downsize desserts, focus on fruit and vegetables, and rethink what your kids drink. “Everyone thinks juice is healthy, but, the issue is that you can drink a lot of calories in juice and it doesn’t fill you up, it doesn’t make you feel full the way you would feel full if you ate an apple. So water really is the best thing to drink, water and milk, and ah drink small amounts of juice a day,” says Dr. Altshuler.

To date, Mark has lost almost 40 pounds. “I can run better, I can walk better. I feel healthier,” says Mark. Keep junk food out of the house…stock up on fruits and vegetables…cut them into shapes, make letters, make eating healthy fun. Teach by example, your children will follow your lead if you are eating healthy and exercising.


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