How Fit Is Your Kid?

I read an article the other day entitled “How Fit is Your Kid?” Research found that 1/3 of all teens would fail an 8-minute treadmill test. Pretty scary! There are reasons for this of course, like:

• A huge increase in portion sizes from just 10 years ago

• The sedentary nature of today’s activities, eg., internet, instant messaging, video games, ipods and so forth

• Food accessibility

• School lunches

As a school counselor by day, I see first hand what kids eat. Last year I was doing some research on soft drink consumption and was shocked by what I read. Just 15 years ago kids drank twice-as-much milk as soda. Today they drink twice-as-much soda as milk. I decided to see for myself if this statistic was accurate. Here is what I found: Of the 400 kids I observed, 95 percent of them drank sweetened soft drinks and 0 percent drank milk. That’s right, not one kid that I observed drank milk. Soft drink consumption is definitely part of the problem considering that just one can of Pepsi is 140 calories and contains 10 teaspoons of sugar.

Well, not to get completely off track, here is what I really wanted to share. There is a very popular lunch that is served once a week to the students at my school. It is called the Buffalo Chicken Wrap. Basically, it’s a deep-fried heart attack on a bun, covered in thick, fattening sauce. The kids flock the lunch line on Buffalo Chicken days. Recently, the cafeteria service did away with this wrap because they were losing money on it. The students weren’t too happy, so they took a stand and boycotted buying food from the cafeteria.

The first day of the boycott an announcement came over the loud speaker that a resolution had been made and the Buffalo Chicken Wrap would return. The roar from the students was deafening. All because of a deep-fried chicken wrap that could quite possibly be the unhealthiest thing served for lunch anywhere on the planet.

Now I want you to really let this sink in: 1/3 OF TEENAGERS ARE UNFIT. This is the time in life when one is supposed to be healthiest. But, 1/3 OF TEENAGERS ARE UNFIT. What is going to happen to these kids in the future, considering that 90 percent of overweight kids become overweight adults? Parents and educators really need to assess what it is that kids are eating and drinking these days. We need to make changes, fast.