According to recent statistics, Texas has the 15th highest adult obesity rate in the country. When it comes to childhood obesity, the state isn’t faring much better. Obesity can lead to diabetes, high blood pressure, heart disease and even contribute to some forms of cancer.
March is National Nutrition Month and what better time to start reversing this “growing” trend. Change can start at home by placing more of an emphasis on good nutrition and simply making it a priority.
According to Rita Connors, dietitian at Memorial Hermann Sugar Land Hospital, knowledge is the key. “You have to read the nutrition labels and know what is in the food you’re putting in your body. Just because a label says ‘low fat’ or ‘reduced sugar’ doesn’t necessarily mean it’s a healthy choice,” says Connors.
Connors suggests taking time to educate your family on food. Time spent discussing food and good food choices can lead to the development of healthier eating habits.
“It often comes down to planning. Use your weekends wisely by pre-preparing healthy snacks and meals for the week,” says Connors.
According to Connors, below are a few tips families can use while at home:
Plan your snacks by having tasty and healthy ready-to-eat items nearby so you won’t be tempted to make a less healthy choice. Snack when you’re hungry and not because you’re bored. Always drink plenty of water and be careful of flavored waters, they can often be high in added sugars so be sure to look over the labels.Plan your snacks by having tasty and healthy ready to eat items nearby so you won’t be tempted to make a less healthy choice. Snack when you’re hungry and not because you’re bored. Always drink plenty of water and be careful of flavored waters, they can often be high in added sugars so be sure to look over the labels.
“People focus too much on what’s good and what’s bad,” says Connors. “Every food can fit in a healthy diet if eaten in moderation.”
Connors also suggests incorporating a good weight training and strength training program to help develop more muscle mass. The added muscle mass will help the body to burn more calories at rest.