Yes, the stats about the numbers of children and adolescents who are overweight (and obese) are glum. And these stats are often topped off with the dismal fact that today’s generation of children are on the road to a shorter life expectancy than recent generations due to obesity, poor eating habits and limited physical activity.
According to a heart warming article in the Washington Post (2/5/09) the new USDA Secretary - Tom Vilsack, is taking a broad view of his goals and roles at USDA. He is talking of his interest in more nutritious foods in schools, more fruits and vegetables for WIC recipients and the importance of educating school administrators, parents and children about the importance of healthy eating and nutritious foods.
Now back home from an extended (and delightful) camping vacation in the great and grand National Parks out west, I'm pleased to note that one can still tank up on those 5+ servings of fruits and vegetables even when food selection is narrowed down to what fits in the cooler and the dry box. As they say, where there's a will, there's a way!
A few discoveries along the trail:
Key learnings from my recent attendance at the American Diabetes Association meeting are sinking in. One clear take away on the nutrition front is the push to eat more fiber for all its health benefits including disease prevention, increased satiety, help with weight control and more.
Fresh, crisp and dirt-laden salad greens, crunchy baby bok choy, red radishes with the greens still attached and garden green snow peas…a sampling of items in my bag of goodies delivered by a local Virginia farmer. We’ve begun to enjoy the harvest from a share in community supported agriculture. Our local farmer sends an alert with the items to expect along with recipes and preparation pointers. Each week will be a surprise and will teach us the growing seasons for varied produce. Best yet, we'll relish the tastes of just picked.
No doubt both first- and second-hand smoke from tobacco is a health hazard. Also, no doubt that exposure, in a smoke filled environment, to second-hand smoke cannot be selectively avoided, unless you avoid the setting. Not the case when it comes to food.
Bravo! I applaud Sally Squires’ (Lean Plate Club, Washington Post) balanced synopsis of the pros and cons of using glycemic index as a tool for healthier eating After 30 years, Glycemic Index Still Fights for Acceptance.