Child obesity remains an epidemic, but in the past decade, positive changes in children’s diets show more youngsters are eating fewer carbohydrates and more beneficial proteins.
According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, a government survey showed that children between the ages of 2 and 19 showed improvements in their diets that could slow the rates of weight gain that has plagued the younger generation in recent years.
About 17 percent of American children and adolescents are considered obese and are at higher risk for developing such ailments as heart disease and diabetes, reported U.S. News Health.
“It would seem that education and public awareness about the importance of maintaining a healthy body weight may finally be getting to its intended audience,” said Rebecca Solomon, coordinator of clinical nutrition at Mount Sinai Medical Center in New York City, told MedlinePlus.com. “Hopefully if we teach children the importance of appropriate calorie intake and nutrient balance, we will reverse the obesity problem over the next several decades.”
The CDC’s National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey was conducted from 1999 to 2010. It states that the average daily consumption of calories dropped from 2,258 during 1999 to 2000 to 2,100 in 2009 to 2010. However, when broken down by gender and racial or ethnic background, African-American and Hispanic girls did not fare as well as other groups.
The news from the CDC was seen by medical experts as the result of several movements in recent years. Schools have altered their lunch programs to include more proteins and parents may have changed their buying and cooking habits in response to the growing incidence of weight gain among children. First Lady Michelle Obama’s “Let’s Move” campaign to get kids more active and eat healthier foods also was cited, according the MedlinePlus.com.
Sharon Zarabi, R.D., a nutritionist at Lenox Hill Hospital in New York City, also gave credit to the kids themselves. She told the website that youngsters seem to be shifting away from juice and soda to flavored waters, seltzer and diet drinks.
However, she warned the public about hidden calories that may be in flavored yogurts, protein bars and soy-based foods and suggested that all foods should be eaten in moderation.
Eating a balanced diet and taking dietary aids such as Calmax Kids from Dr. Newton’s Naturals is another way to address both weight and overall health issues. Calmax Kids, a beverage powder for kids who are age 2 and older, includes high amounts of calcium, magnesium and vitamin C.