Summertime Blues: Children Are Gaining Weight During the Summer Months
Children Are Gaining Weight During the Summer Months
For children, it is one of the best times of the year. No more pencils, no more books, and you know the rest. School is about to be put to rest until September, and the detachment is often immediate. School? What school? And so it will remain until late August when new clothes and classroom supplies are purchased to do it all over again. But before this rude interference, there is no greater feeling than laying on an outdoor recliner in mid July and knowing that many weeks of the same are still ahead. Perfect.
There will be swimming pools and vacations. The beach and the ocean. There will be barbecues and picnics. Lemonade and watermelon. There will be fairs and amusement parks and ice cream, and funnel cakes, and potato chips, and sugar pops, and deep fried everything imaginable. And I do mean everything imaginable: deep fried peanut butter, candy bars, beer, kool-aid, and spaghetti and meatballs. As unlikely as these choices seems, they are all very real.
Is it any wonder that children gain twice as much weight in the summer as they do during the school year?
Children and Summertime Weight Gain
There are three times as many overweight children in the United States as there was twenty years ago. Fingers are pointed in any number of directions, some are accurate while others are not.
Schools have been identified as culprits by many who claim poor quality lunches, vending machines, and inadequate exercise programs are plumping up our children. But again, children gain as much weight in the summer as they do during the entire school year although the summertime is three times shorter. So maybe it’s not the schools.
Questions have been raised about the sedentary lifestyles of our children: too much television and video games. There is more truth to be found here than in red-flagging schools. Summer was once a more outdoor season than it currently is.
What To Do About Childhood Obesity
Expect no revelations; most people know what to do but simply do not do it. Eat healthy and exercise.
It is not information that children grow into adults. About 10% of the world’s population now have diabetes, a number that has doubled in the last thirty years. Also 36% of women and 33% of men in the United States are overweight or obese as are 20% of children between ages 2-5. And 10% of infants and toddlers carry extra pounds. Some 27% of young adults are medically ineligible to join the military because of obesity.
Not nearly enough people are seeking counsel on weight loss and those who do are often given faulty advice by health professionals. The simple fact is if we do not manage our food choices and exercise regularly we are putting our health and the health of our children at risk. So when summer arrives, get the children outside and active in the games of Summer. Feed them healthy and monitor their well-being. The stakes are serious, and they are high.
Living life well-fed,
Marin Kids - http://www.marinkids.org/opportunities/on-the-front-burner/
National Center For Summer Learning - https://dst.sp.maricopa.edu/DWG/STPG/JuniorACE/Shared%20Documents/Curriculum/Summer%20and%20Weight%20gain%20Research%20Brief%20FINAL7%2008.pdf
Quad-City Times - http://qctimes.com/news/opinion/editorial/columnists/article_483aee6a-a466-11e0-84f4-001cc4c002e0.html