A.D. By: Moriah Wicker Did you know that the United States is the number one country in obesity, not just adult obesity, or teenage obesity but childhood obesity too? Our country’s diet is the worst by far, and truly appalling. We are the most powerful country, yet we’re the most unhealthy. This diet, you may ask is the Standard American Diet, which so happens to be the acronym S.A.

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D. Do you think that’s coincidental? Perhaps it is just a coincidence, but hey, people say you are what you eat! And America well, I guess some of us are just now figuring out what that really means. Now before you totally just shoot me down, the majority of you know my mother or at least have an idea of who she is, anyway she’s Susie Wicker and the Dr. Oz of our lovely home. She’s always saying little tid bits here and there about how such and such omega’s help the brain: “don’t hold your cell phone to your ear because of radiation”, or the most recent epidemic from Susie, “don’t drink cold water it can shock your nervous system”.

Don’t get me wrong I love my mother, even if she is shoving nothing but flax down my throat, however I’m not my mother, but I most definitely have her nutrition attribute. The definition of nutrition is the organic process of nourishing or being nourished; the processes by which an organism assimilates food and uses it for growth and maintenance, a source of materials to nourish the body. The definition of obesity is the state of being well above one’s normal weight. A person is usually considered to be obese if they are more than 20 percent over their ideal weight. Although, keep in mind, the ideal weight must take into account the person’s height, age, gender, and physical make-up. The point of this speech is not to criticize or judge anyone, but to inform you of the turmoil our country is in, health-wise.

And to most importantly give you a few tips to make sure you stay on the healthy track of eating right. In the last 30 years the number of children who are overweight has tripled to 15%. When you add the overweight and obese statistics together, the problem becomes crystal clear. One-third of the nation’s children are carrying too much weight. There are lots of reasons why child obesity in America is definitely on the rise. Right now, one in three American kids is overweight or obese.

Isn’t that shocking? Now rhetorically, how do you think this generations children will be raised and how do you think they will eat? “The physical and emotional health of an entire generation and the economic health and security of our nation is at stake.” This quote coming from our First Lady Michelle Obama after she announced her “Let’s Move” campaign. “Train up a child in the way he should go, and he will not depart from it” Prov. 22:6. One third of all children born in 2000 or later will suffer from diabetes at some point in their lives many others will face chronic obesity-related health problems like heart disease, high blood pressure, cancer, and asthma.

This may seem hard to believe, but let’s look at how we got here. Less than 30 years go, children walked to and from school, ran everywhere during recess, played diligently in gym and then before dinner they would play for hours outside. Dinner was always home-cooked, with at least one vegetable on the plate, fast-food was not prominent. This resulted in a pretty healthy weight for children then. Now a days, not so much. These walks have been replaced with cars and school buses, gym classes are cut a lot shorter, and in the afternoon waiting on dinner, children are playing video games and in front of the t.

v. And dinner is rarely cooked from home, fast food couldn’t be faster. Portion sizes have also exploded. Food portions are two to almost five times bigger than they used to be. Beverage portions have grown as well.

In the mid-1970s, average sweetened drink portions were 13.6 ounces. Today, kids think nothing at all of drinking 20 ounces of soda at a time. In total, we are now eating 31 percent more calories than children we were forty years ago, this includes 56 percent more fats and oils and 14 percent more sugars and sweeteners. The average American now eats fifteen more pounds of sugar a year than in 1970.

And the average American child spends more than 7.5 hours a day watching TV, movies, using cell phones and computers for entertainment, along with playing video games. Surprisingly, only a third of high school students get the recommended levels of physical activity. I know this because I researched it and I have a younger brother who happens to be 13, he’s not obese by any means because he stay’s active but boy does he sure enjoy some call of duty. That’s the bad news. The good news is by making a few simple changes we can help the children of the future lead healthier lives and we already have all of the tools we need to do it.

Don’t get me wrong, I’m not saying ” lose weight, you’re fat”. I’m simply suggesting to examine yourself and what you eat and drink. If you’re satisfied with your appearance, then this speech is not for you, but if you’re thinking I could tighten up a bit here and there, here’s a few key steps. Also everyone should exercise at least a couple of times a week. It’s proven to help mentally, of course physically and it helps with being a nicer, more genuine person. And who wouldn’t want that? The minor tips consist of breakfast each morning, walking everyday, at least 8 glasses of water a day and if possible make sure to get those fruits and veggies on your plate.

This is a great start to any diet or as I call them, personal health changes. Finally, with wrapping up this rant of spasms, I hope you got something out of this and I hope you’ll think about what you’re putting into your body. As I said earlier, I didn’t mean to offend anyone, but being healthy is a key role in my life and I just want everyone to make just a few minor adjustments in what they choose to eat. It works out in the long run. (no pun intended).