Sweet, Salty, and Healthy

It is no secret that Americans’ waistlines have rapidly expanded over the years.  Obesity is an epidemic in America. According to the Centers for Disease Control & Prevention (CDC), 12.5 million (or 17%) of children and adolescents in the United States are obese. Since 1980, the number of obese children and adolescents has almost tripled.

Obesity is determined using a Body Mass Index (BMI), which is calculated using weight and height. While BMI does not directly measure body fat, it is an adequate indicator of body fatness for the majority of people. BMI Percentiles are used to evaluate the size and growth patterns of individual children and adolescents in the United States. The percentile displays the relative position of the BMI number among children and adolescents of the same sex and age.  An obese child or teen would have a BMI of > 95th percentile.  Calculate your BMI here.

There are severe consequences of obesity including, but not limited to high blood pressure and

image source: thenourishinghome.com

cholesterol, type II diabetes, and breathing problems. Consuming too many calories coupled with lack of physical activity are leading contributors to the childhood obesity epidemic.

Let’s face it; we all have cravings for salty and sweet foods. However, we don’t always have to satisfy those cravings with Doritos (unless they’re the Baked! kind) and a bag of skittles. Just because healthy snacks are limited in sugar, sodium, and saturated fat, doesn’t mean it has to taste bad. Here’s a list of some delectable healthy snack ideas:

  1. Sunflower and/or Pumpkin Seeds
  2. Fruit with yogurt  (you can add some granola if you’re feeling fancy)
  3. Trail Mix (you can buy it prepackaged or make your own to suit your taste)
  4. Fruit Smoothie
  5. Crackers & Tuna
  6. Rice cakes with peanut butter (or if you are allergic to peanuts try sunflower butter (yum))
  7. Nutrigrain Cereal bars
  8. Granola bars
  9. Fruit bars
  10. 10. 100% Whole grain Fig Newtons

What are some of your favorite healthy snacks?

Here is something I hope you will not eat after reading this article: Hot Cheetos & Takis

For your viewing pleasure…

This song is seriously catchy, and kind of makes you want to run and get some! I won’t completely denounce the consumption of hot Cheetos & Takis, but I will say that everything should be consumed in moderation. I would love to see someone make an equally catchy video about a healthy snack. Anyone up for the challenge?

By JEWELS RHODE

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