In 2010, one out of every three children was overweight or obese.
It’s a startling figure released by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. But even more startling is that the number has tripled since 1980. Tripled.
Collectively, we are not doing our kids any favors. Portions are huge. And even when portions are the appropriate size, they’re not packaged that way. Think a bottle of soda has 120 calories? Read a little closer. That’s 120 calories per serving, and a 20-ounce bottle of soda is two servings, not one. But that’s in the fine print.
Same goes with candy bars, pints of ice cream, bags of chips.
And our latch-key kids — if anyone even uses that phrase anymore — come home from school, turn on the television or the latest greatest game console and zone out for hours on end. Why play a rousing match of tennis when you could “virtually” play tennis. And since we as parents are spending 50 to 60 hours a week commuting and working, it’s not our responsibility, is it?
No, they should be eating healthier at school! So then they change the menu to meet USDA guidelines for caloric intake, portions and nutrition. And now our poor kids won’t eat hot lunches. They throw away more food than they eat! This is outrageous! Now we as parents have to pack 20-ounce bottles of soda, candy bars and bags of chips, paying no attention to the labels. Hey look, it’s a 100-calorie snack! That’s healthy, right?
Garbage in, garbage out, right?
How can we even expect our kids to function on the kind of crap they serve at fast-food restaurants and pre-packaged goodies we buy when little ones start tugging on our shirt at the grocery store.
Who needs an apple when you could buy a tube of applesauce?
And physical activity ... hmm. By the time you get home from commuting and work, there’s no daylight left on a weekday to get the kids outside. Weekends are packed with errands and trips. So hand them the hand-held gaming device, the miniature one that keeps them sedated at home, and off we go.
I don’t know about your kids, but I know my kids have a semester of phys ed. Per year. That’s it, other than recess, which is completely reliant on the weather and, ahem, the behavior of our children.
Maybe they’re just going into withdrawals from sugar, caffeine and their video games during the school hours. Better let them chug an energy drink before they get on the bus.
What are doing? Everything they do as children creates a path for them to follow into adulthood. In 30 years, America has managed to produce three times as many overweight children. What will happen in the next 30?
More and more of the same unless we take the battle against childhood obesity seriously. Last week on our online poll question, we asked our readers to respond to what they thought would be the best place to make changes that would change our children’s health for the better. On www.timeswv.com, our readers logged on to vote on this question: “Where do you think the most important changes need to be made in the battle against childhood obesity?”
And here’s what you had to say.
Teams — Promote and require physical after-school activities for all children — 2.5 percent
School — Kids need to be active every single day and eat healthier food. 3.75 percent
Mindset — Parents are the ones to convince about healthier habits, foods and lifestyles — 33.75 percent
Home — Lock up the video games and turn off the TV — 60 percent
That’s a winner if I ever saw one.
This week, let’s talk about a proposed bill in the Legislature that would give more leeway to the “stand your ground” laws in West Virginia. That means that self defense would be extended to protecting someone else who was being attacked and owners would be able to use “deadly force” to protect their home and property from burglars.
What are you thoughts?
Log on. Vote. Email me.
In 2010, one out of every three children was overweight or obese.
Being observant, reporting suspicions can make difference for hurting children
If a child is hurting, we wouldn’t hesitate to help.
Or would we?
In a five-year span, 22,830 children were victims of some type of neglect or abuse in West Virginia. That’s an overwhelming number to think about.
Gee makes major impact and earns another term as WVU president
Let’s imagine that a graduate from West Virginia University in the early 1980s, when E. Gordon Gee was president, came back to get an extra degree now and couldn’t believe that E. Gordon Gee is “still” the president of WVU.
Effort to encourage purchase of goods produced in U.S. deserves support
The concept of encouraging the purchase of American-made products is certainly not new.
On the federal level, the Buy American Act was passed in 1933 by Congress and signed by President Herbert Hoover. It required the United States government to prefer U.S.-made products in its purchases.
‘Stop Meth, Not Meds’ backed by readers
In West Virginia, there is something referred to as “stop-sale technology” that prevents a person from going to more than one pharmacy to purchase over-the-counter medication that contains the active ingredient pseudoephedrine, a nasal decongestant.
It’s not an issue of stuffy noses that lawmakers were worried about when they created the system.
Even small steps play part in critical mission to reduce childhood obesity
Just two years ago, more than one-third of children and adolescents were overweight or obese, meaning they had excess body weight based on their height.
It’s a troubling statistic, and one that health officials have worked diligently to reverse.
Cutting-edge heart procedure at Mon General is saving lives
“I used to think I wouldn’t live to be 50. Well, I made it to 50 and then some,” Pearl Walls said.
Walls is likely alive today and able to tell her story to the Times West Virginian because of a cutting-edge procedure performed at Monongalia General Hospital — a Transcatheter Aortic Valve Replacement (TAVR), which was only approved for use by the FDA in 2011.
Celebrate Dr. Seuss’ many works, magic words
You know his words.
You know them well.
Funds donated to United Way make community healthier, happier, safer place
A dollar you give to the United Way of Marion County could feed a hungry family.
That dollar could protect a woman and her children from an abuser.
Or the dollar could mean that a family receives credit counseling to lift them out of overwhelming debt.
It could fund Scouting programs, where boys and girls learn lifelong lessons.
Project Launchpad puts critical concept of diversifying state economy into play
The case for diversifying the state of West Virginia’s economy is past the point of debate.
While it is our hope that coal can continue to have a role in our nation’s power-generating matrix, we’ve learned our lesson about over-dependence on a single industry. Particularly being overly dependent on an industry that, in the eyes of federal regulators, is out of fashion.
Legal concealed carry and open government must both be preserved
We’re a strong supporter of the right of West Virginians to legally and responsibly own and use firearms.
That includes the ability to obtain a state license to carry a concealed deadly weapon (pistols or revolvers). That process involves applying to the county sheriff, paying a $75 fee and completing an application, as prepared by the superintendent of the West Virginia State Police, in writing.
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- Being observant, reporting suspicions can make difference for hurting children