Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Food for thought

Since we joined jus almost a year ago my whole thought process about food and how it affects our health has changed. I have never been a statistics girl. I always thought they were pointless. I mean who actually comes up with these number and how do they do it. Well I have started paying more attention to them lately and health statistics are staggering, scary and almost completely preventable. Look at these on diabetes alone:

• In 2025, up to 80 percent of Americans will be overweight (body mass
index (BMI) of 26 or greater—meaning at least 26 percent of body weight
is fat) and 50 percent will have progressed to obesity (BMI of 30 or
greater). The lifetime risk of being overweight or obese is higher for
• Given the increase in obesity by 2025, the lifetime risk of getting diabetes
for those Americans born in the year 2000 will be over 40 percent,
ranging from 30 percent for white males to 60 percent for Hispanic
• In 2025, the average person with diabetes will die 15 years prematurely
and suffer a disease burden of over 20 quality-adjusted life years (QALYs)
lost. Black females with early onset of diabetes in their 20s will lose 19
years of life and about 30 QALYs.

Those statistics tell me that Taylor and Emily, because they were born in and after the year 2000 will have a 30-40% chance of being diagnosed with diabetes and because of that could die 15 years early.

Did you also know that we are raising the first generation of children who will be outlived by their parents? You can google it. There is article after article on the subject. Does that scare you? Because it scares the crap out of me.

Do you know why these statistics are true? As stated in The China Study-
“The answer to the American health crisis is the food that each of us chooses to put in our mouths each day. It is as simple as that.”

Seems like such an easy fix doesn't it. Change what we eat. I was walking through the grocery store a couple weeks ago and kept passing a woman that had four kids with her. Every time I passed her cart I would glance in and I was taken back at the stuff she was putting in there. Chicken nuggets. Taquitos. Boxed meals. Microwave meals. I wanted to stop her and say "Do you know what you are doing to your children's bodies?"

As a mother I would never do anything to intentionally harm my kids. But what am I doing every time I make them something that is full of chemicals, preservatives, sodium and sugar. I am sending them straight down the path to a lifetime of health problems. And why? So I can make the meal that takes 10 minutes instead of taking an hour to make them something that will do their bodies good.

Thankfully I have never been a chicken nuggets or taquitos for dinner kind of gal. I've always tried to be proactive in making my family meals that are healthy. That's not to say we don't eat fast food or I have never made something from a box because I have plenty of times, but I have always tried to be conscious of what I was putting into my kids mouths. It doesn't take a genius to read the side of a box and see the junk that goes into that stuff.

Why am I sounding off on this today? Because it doesn't have to be this way. Our children don't have to live a life full of illness and obesity. We can do things now to change their future. It doesn't take much. Make your meals instead of buying prepackaged. Buy fruit and dehydrate it as a snack for your kids. My kids eat the devil out of dried fruit. Be conscious of what you are buying. Go for the Kashi cereal and put honey on it instead of buying sugared cereal that has nothing of value in it. There are a million little things that will go a long way to insuring the health of your family.

Knowledge is power. Let's use it for good.


Dionna said...

I'm working on it - but it's a process. How do you dehydrate fruit?
Oh yah - and I WOULD have to read this right after I ate some chocolate. Geez- and I thought I could eat it guilt free. :)

sam said...

yeah- how do you dehydrate fruit? interesting post jen. i've always wanted to do better with feeding my family, but it's overwhelming and a lot of work. not to mention, expensive and "against the grain". i completely see the statistics side of it though. thanks for some of your thoughts!

Kelly said...

Good points! I've been thinking about this a lot lately as I've been introducing new foods to Graham. I'm not sure at what point, with the other kids, I thought "Well I know they love these fruits and veggies but I'm gonna go ahead and give them incredibly processed fried chicken". There are always alternatives to the processed versions it just takes a little more work.

I also wanted to comment on your last post. The thing with Rob & Austin had me all choked up. What an incredible statement that must have made! I've recently noticed that Garrett is not a little boy any longer. He's just a boy now. My days of protecting his innocence are becoming numbered because he can read and is noticing the world around him. What Rob did is such a great thing to do for your sons. I'm going to get that Bible study for Mike so we can be ready as our boys grow into young men. Thanks Jen! And Rob too! :)

Rob said...

Raising a Modern Day night by Robert Lewis is where a good portion of my ideas stemmed from also.

Kim said...

Amen sister! :)K

SPARKY said...

preach it! have you been reading my book? i know your'e good at eavesdropping, but overtheshoulder reading too?
couldn't have said it better. man, the lord just keeps throwin this thing in my face everywhere i look. the whole sugar thing is another MAJOR issue. sugar can kill us just as fast. skinny b would be proud of you. now all you have to do is cut out those meat products :O?