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MyPlate a key to fighting obesity?

Over the weekend, I read a Clinical Advisor article that reports - if eating habits don’t change, half of the American population will be obese by 2030. The article warns of the cost (health and financial) for individuals and the country as a whole…

As a result, data indicate that American health care providers will need to provide care for 6 to 8.5 million more diabetes patients and can expect to witness between 5.7 to 7.3 million more cases of heart disease and stroke; 490,000 to 670,000 additional cases of cancer; and 26 to 55 million quality-adjusted life years lost.

If these predictions are accurate, medical expenditures are expected to increase $48 to $66 billion annually, before lost productivity and other costs associated with a generally sicker population are taken into account, the researchers noted.

A pandemic of obesity at that level is as much a public health concern as an individual health concern. But a little bit like the ghost of Christmases to Come in A Christmas Carol, the researchers are hoping that by shining a light on what could happen, they will motivate people to change. The good news is I also read some articles that highlight ways in which we might be able to address obesity as a public health issue to educate and encourage each other to make healthy eating choices. WebMD reports that childcare should be a new focus for promoting nutrition…

Studies show that about 82% of American children under age 6 are in child care outside the home while their parents work.
That means many meals are no longer eaten around the family table, but at day care, where parents may have little control over what toddlers are eating.

Experts have noted that starting early is an effective measure in setting healthy eating habits…

“In general, there’s been an increasing awareness that we have to start tackling obesity very early in a child’s life,” says Alice Ammerman, DrPH, a nutrition professor and director of the Center for Health Promotion and Disease Prevention at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

While healthy eating at home is essential –there is also great potential for childcare providers to teach children to make fun and healthful food choices. The USDA MyPlate might be just the tool to help us do it. The USDA MyPlate design is simple and easy to replicate but even in its infancy (it was only unveiled this summer!) it has captured the imagination and attention of educators and healthcare providers.

Learning ZoneXpress is proud to be an official National Strategic Partner in the USDA MyPlate initiative. We have a range of products that promote healthy eating at all ages – from to childcare through to adult. Our goal is to help teach children about health, nutrition and life skills and MyPlate has quickly become a staple in our offerings and a favorite among customers.

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