20 September 2019, by Sara Correnti, Health and Wellness Educator
I’m a mom of a little miracle here on earth, one in heaven and one on the way. I’ll be the first to admit that I love a baby with super chunky cheeks. And don’t get me going on those little wrist rolls. Pediatricians plot our kids’ sizes and growth on charts and curves to make sure they’re healthy. Oftentimes, I hear parents proudly declaring that their child is at the top of each in height, weight and head circumference. We live in a society where the top is best and many adopt the “some is good and more is better” mindset. But is it?
Obesity for adults is clinically defined by their height to weight ratio or body mass index (BMI). For our children, we refer back to their percentiles. Childhood obesity in children age 2-19 years old is defined as a BMI at or above the 95th percentile of the CDC sex-specific BMI-for-age growth charts(1). Data from 2017 reports that over 13 million children in our country are clinically obese.
So how has this happened? In a super simplified sense it’s “calories in, calories out.” With fewer kids having to take PE or able to have recess during the day, a rise in technology that keeps kids’ minds more active than their bodies and the ever-available calorie-dense processed foods, the perfect combination has formed for our children’s waistlines, and obesity rates, to grow.
Some may think that poor nutrition isn’t that big of a deal when in actuality, what preschoolers and school-aged children are consuming not only affects their health in the long run, but in the short term, too. Poor nutrition also could be negatively affecting how they grow and develop physically and mentally, which has short and long-term effects. Poor nutrition also impacts their energy levels and attention spans, complicating the growing and learning process for our children even more(2).
Parents are bringing their children to you because they believe you can care for them the best during their growing years. I’m here to help you know what that means from a nutritional standpoint. You’re invited to attend an upcoming webinar that I’ve developed to help you know (clearly, without all that confusing and conflicting information out there) how to properly fuel the children that come to your school so you can best foster physical growth and development. Also, I’m keeping in mind the limited financial resources many of our ministries have to factor into the health equation too.
This is aimed at school directors, cooks and leaders who play a role in the nutritional needs of our children. However, all are invited to attend (even parents)!