Obesity Culprits - Stop These Bandits
By Justine Strauss, BS
Obesity rates among our youth are climbing and there doesn't seem to be a solution in sight. Because our children are watching more television than ever, they are exposed to food advertisements 4 to 6 hours a day. Advertisers know this and push food advertisements that focus on high-fat, sweet, salty foods and carbonated beverages.
Consequently, fruit and vegetable consumption is at an all-time low for our kids. Not only does television watching promote poor food choice habits but it reduces physical activity to practically none.
Studies now show, due to video games, television, telephones, the Internet, the lack of parent physical interaction, and non-participation insporting and leisure activities, our children are experiencing the following health hazards:
• Decrease in insulin-like growth factor-I (IGF-I)
• Decrease in growth hormone (GH)
• Decrease in serotonin levels
• 3-fold risk of hypertension
• Decreased sleep quality
• Mood (Depression)
• Type II Diabetes
• Heart Disease
These are startling facts with catastrophic impacts on the health of our youth and their future mortality. It is shown that for each hour of lost quality sleep, the odds of obesity increase by 80%. Poor sleep patterns and habits also contribute to alack of physical activity. A 3% decline is observed when quality sleep is altered.
It becomes a vicious cycle of inactivity and lethargy. The less active our children are, the more unmotivated they become, lending themselves vulnerable to lying around watching television for entertainment and making poor snack food choices. They don't call it a 'dummy box' for nothing!