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Carroll County Cooperative Extension Service hosts its first Extension Fair from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., Saturday, May 21 at our office at 500 Floyd Drive in Carrollton.
We invite all residents to come out and learn about our programs, enjoy lunch and have the chance to win a big screen television donated by McNeal’s Hardware. We hope you will stop by.
Eating, physical activity
guidelines to fight obesity
Studies show that nationwide, 32 percent of children between the ages of 10 and 17 are overweight or obese. In Kentucky that number climbs to 37 percent giving us the second highest rate of childhood obesity in the United States. The two principal causes are a lack of physical activity and poor eating habits. Helping your children maintain a healthy weight is very important for their health. Let’s fight to improve the health of Carroll County’s children and keep them from being overweight or obese.
Offer fruits and vegetables every day. Prepare them so they are tender but still crisp. Offer raw vegetables as a snack. Have children help prepare vegetable recipes. They are more likely to try new foods when they are involved in preparing them.
Eat family meals together.Regular mealtimes promote better nutrition. Families that eat meals together, eat more fruits and vegetables, fewer fried foods and fewer high-sugar soft drinks. Good nutrition helps decrease the desire for “empty” calorie foods.
Play together.Participate in noncompetitive family sports such as jumping rope, Frisbee, tag, or hide-and-seek.
Go outside! After eating go outside for a 10-minute walk or bike ride. It will help keep the family from settling in front of a screen for the whole evening.
Plan weekend activities.Even if you can’t go outdoors, find indoor activities to do: Dance to music or borrow an exercise video from the Carroll County Public Library.
Be active adults.It is, perhaps, most important to make sure your children see you participate in some physical activity. If you do not take physical activity seriously, how can you expect them to?
Children with excessive body weight are more likely to be overweight as adults. That leads to higher risk for diabetes, high blood pressure, high cholesterol and other illnesses when they grow up.
One way to find out if your child is overweight or obese is to determine his or her Body Mass Index. This weight-to-height formula takes into account total body fitness.
Ask your pediatrician to assess your child’s BMI, discuss the results and determine if any additional steps are needed.
‘Let’s Move’ initiative
Because childhood obesity is an epidemic in the United States, First Lady Michelle Obama has launched the “Lets Move!” initiative, with the goal of solving the problem of obesity in this generation.
The initiative encourages families, educators and community leaders to make substantive changes toward greater childhood health. Let’s Move! lists its five pillars as the following:
• Creating a healthy start for children
• Empowering parents and caregivers
• Providing healthy food in schools
• Improving access to healthy, affordable foods
• Increasing physical activity
There will be a challenge for a special award called the “Presidential Active Lifestyle Award.” To earn the award, all you have to do is document your physical activity each day (60 minutes for kids, 30 minutes for adults) for five days a week, for six weeks.
To join the challenge, go to LetsMove.gov. Follow the site’s instructions: Make a family or team commitment; sign up online; keep the activity log; log your activity (from a list of more than 100 activities); earn your reward.
According to LetsMove.gov, children need 60 minutes of play with moderate to vigorous activity every day to grow up at a healthy weight. However, 8- to 18-year-olds spend an average of 7.5 hours a day using entertainment media; only one-third of high school students get the recommended levels of physical activity.
It’s nearly summer and time to get active for your better health and that of your children.
Grace Angotti is Carroll Co. Extension agent for family and consumer sciences. Call her at (502) 732-7030 or send e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org.