How Crunch Time Affects Kids’ Health

| Apr 28, 2013

Although there are small hints that the American obesity epidemic may be slowing a little, one in every three American kids is overweight or obese. To find out why, National Public Radio, together with the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and the Harvard School of Public Health, looked at what goes on in American households between school and bedtime-a period they call "crunch time."

The object was to find out what was happening in the life of a "target child" in each household by looking at responses from family caregivers received via NPR's Facebook page.

Although caregivers understand that kids need to eat and exercise in a particular way to maintain a healthy weight, during "crunch time" more than half the children in the poll ate or drank something that could lead to unhealthy weight gain.  In addition, more than a quarter of the children did not get enough exercise.

In three-quarters of the households polled, most of the family ate dinner together. In addition, most respondents said the "target" child's dinner was prepared at home with fresh ingredients. However, about a third of the children eat pre-packaged, frozen, or take-out food, and nearly half in the poll reported it was difficult for families to eat together on a regular basis.

Parental and/or caregiver time is limited and money is also a problem. Many parents have stressful jobs and get home late, lessening the time available for meal preparation. It's less expensive to purchase a box of macaroni and cheese than fresh fruits and vegetables.

Other barriers that get in the way are a family's physical surroundings, school lunch policies, and culture. Parents report that school lunches are still high-fat and loaded with processed foods. Some cultures consider a "nice, chunky child" to be healthy.

Exercise can be another problem as the "crunch" time fills up with after-school activities and homework, and there is often no place close by-or even walkable sidewalks-where kids and families can go to exercise.






Click Here To View Or Post Comments

Categories: Diabetes, Diabetes and Obesity, Diabetes Health, Diabetic, Food, Type 1 Issues

Take the Diabetes Health Pump Survey
See What's Inside
Read this FREE issue now
For healthcare professionals only
  • 12th Annual Product Reference Guide
  • Insulin Syringe Chart
  • Insulin Pen Needles Chart
  • Fast-Acting Glucose
  • Sharps Disposal
  • Blood Glucose Meters Chart
  • Insulin Pumps Chart
See the entire table of contents here!

You can view the current or previous issues of Diabetes Health online, in their entirety, anytime you want.
Click Here To View

See if you qualify for our free healthcare professional magazines. Click here to start your application for Pre-Diabetes Health, Diabetes Health Pharmacist and Diabetes Health Professional.

Learn More About the Professional Subscription

Free Diabetes Health e-Newsletter

Top Rated
Print | Email | Share | Comments (0)

You May Also Be Interested In...


Add your comments about this article below. You can add comments as a registered user or anonymously. If you choose to post anonymously your comments will be sent to our moderator for approval before they appear on this page. If you choose to post as a registered user your comments will appear instantly.

When voicing your views via the comment feature, please respect the Diabetes Health community by refraining from comments that could be considered offensive to other people. Diabetes Health reserves the right to remove comments when necessary to maintain the cordial voice of the diabetes community.

For your privacy and protection, we ask that you do not include personal details such as address or telephone number in any comments posted.

Don't have your Diabetes Health Username? Register now and add your comments to all our content.

Have Your Say...

Username: Password:
©1991-2015 Diabetes Health | Home | Privacy | Press | Advertising | Help | Contact Us | Donate | Sitemap

Diabetes Health Medical Disclaimer

The information on this site is not intended or implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. All content, including text, graphics, images, and information, contained on or available through this website is for general information purposes only. Opinions expressed here are the opinions of writers, contributors, and commentators, and are not necessarily those of Diabetes Health. Never disregard professional medical advice or delay seeking medical treatment because of something you have read on or accessed through this website.