I'm Just Sayin'
Random Thoughts from a Random Guy

The “F” Word

Disclaimer: It is not my intention to insult, upset, or offend anyone with this blog. But it’s time to wake up and smell the fresh fruits and vegetables!

A few healthier options

A few healthier options

No, not that one. The “F” word we’re talking about today is fat. I had debated for a while about whether to write this blog. But after a little more research and a lot of thinking, I’ve come to the conclusion that it’s needed.

I just read an article in the September/October issue of Scouting magazine. I’m a Cub Scout leader, and have a subscription. The article that caught my eye is titled “Fat Chance” and reinforces some points I had just discussed with the other leaders two weeks ago.

The article says 41% of boys who applied to go to the National Scout Jamboree are overweight or obese. Think about that. Nearly half of all the BOYS in this situation fit into that category.

The numbers are even more staggering for adults. The article says 77.5 percent are overweight, obese, or morbidly obese.

Being a health reporter too, I see stats and figures all the time about the number of children who are overweight. Not only does this have an impact on the child’s self esteem and body image, it’s also having a greater impact on their overall health. More kids are being diagnosed with sleep apnea, type 2 diabetes, and heart disease.

Earlier this month an 8th grade football player in St. Louis dropped dead at practice. Reports indicate he weighed 383 pounds.

Something has got to be done to save these kids. They’re turning into potato chip eating, video game playing, soda drinking couch potatoes. And I think parents need to lead by example.

That’s why this year in Scouts, I’ve asked my leaders to start implementing some physical activity into their meetings, we’re switching out the fat filled hotdogs with a healthier option on campouts, and not drinking so much soda.

Here are some tips/recommendations I’ve used myself or found through different research projects I’ve done.

*Replace soda with water. Sounds pretty simple. You save about 150 calories on a 12 oz. serving. If you do drink soda, make it a diet and stick to one. I drink one can of Diet Mt. Dew every morning. It’s my source of caffeine. I get up at 3 a.m. and need some kind of boost and I don’t like coffee.

*I stopped buying chips and instead eat carrot sticks, broccoli, or radishes. When we do get snacks, the chips are baked or we eat pretzels. But we limit those, because they do have a lot of sodium.

*My wife convinced me years ago to drink skim milk. Now I can’t stand anything but that.

*Switch from the sugary cereals to ones with more fiber.

*Whole grain wheat bread over white

*Stop going through the drivethru. Sometimes it’s the faster option. I’ve been guilty of it. Limit your consumption. In other words, don’t make it a weekly habit. A turkey sandwich at Subway has 300 less calories than a Quarter Pounder with cheese at McDonalds.

*Read food labels: Here’s some advice, just because it says “No TransFat” doesn’t mean that’s true. If there’s an ingredient listed as partially hydrogenated oil of some kind, then there is less than a half of a gram of transfat in it. Food companies can get away with it.

*Park your car at the far end of the lot.

*Take the stairs

*Get in a walk during your lunch break.

*Play outside with the kids.

I hope this doesn’t come off too preachy, but as I look around I see a serious crisis on our hands. I think as adults, we must make the first step. Yes, it sucks at first, but once you start changing the bad habits and make real lifestyle changes, you don’t have to worry about words like “diet”.

Thanks for reading.


2 Responses to “The “F” Word”

  1. you’re taking away hot dogs? i think i shall call the head of Scouting. that just seems wrong on so many levels. how about you make the kids hunt down a pig and kill it, then make it into hot dogs. that way they get their exercise and can enjoy normal camp treats.

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