The current problems associated with children growing ever more overweight and the frighteningly high numbers of obese kids needs to be sorted out with some measure of urgency. This article will take a look at the kind of solutions that can be helpful in fixing the several problems that are associated with overweight and obesity in children.
Before any viable solution can be presented, the causes of excessive weight in children must first be identified. While many weight loss experts agree that reducing the intake of calories ought to be the main line of attack, there is growing evidence that there is more to the problem than simple calorie numbers. While there can be no argument that children are consuming an alarmingly high number of calories each day compared to what they burn off through exercise, the crux of the problem seems to be linked to where those calories are coming from. Modifying the makeup of children's diet choices is the obvious primary candidate here, but where should thos echanges be made specifically?
Sugar and High Fructose Corn Syrup
Recent research into the way in which the body metabolizes sugar (sucrose) and high fructose corn syrup (HFCS), which is very similar to sucrose especially in the way the body metabolizes it, has shown that too much of either of these substances in the diet causes larger deposits of visceral fat in the body. More worryingly, this fat is also deposited around organs and particularly in the liver, where these sugars are processed. While this in itself is cause for concern over the child's weight, it is also a warning signal that there could be far worse health problem down the line.
In a hard hitting lecture on the toxicity of sugar delivered in 2009 called "Sugar: The Bitter Truth,", Robert Lustig highlighted the very real health problems that excessive consumption of sucrose and HFCS and the potential for raised risk of type 2 diabetes as well as certain forms of cancer (most notably breast and colon cancer). The lecture was reported on in the New York Times and fully explained Lustig's stance on the situation.
Cut Back on Sugars
One immediate solution that presents itself immediately is to try and get kids to cut back on foods and drinks that contain high levels of these sugars. Not only will they be doing themselves a huge favor by preventing further weight gain and bringing about a weight reduction, they will be helping to insure their long term health remains in a good state. In addition to this, they'll also be working to reduce the risk of developing the far more dangerous conditions of diabetes and cancer in the future.