By: Sheila Kun RN, BSN, MS, CPN, FCCP
I was watching CNN on their special on Michelle Obama, the former First Lady and her work. One of her passions was for the children to eat healthier food. She converted part of the garden in the White House into a community farm. Unfortunately, even with her clout, celebrity status and passion, her efforts to combat obesity met with a lot of resistance from groups with their profit-making interests. We give her credit for trying, the outcome was not as stunning as one would expect. Therefore, reading Anet Piridzhanyan, MS, RDN’s work is a daily reminder that when it comes to food choices, it is a daunting task for most parents. Even for adults, “controlling” yourself is not easy. However, now that we recognize the hardship and pitfalls, we should still give it a try. Some good points from Ms. Piridzhanyan presentation highlighted the key points below:
We are not depriving food, just simply providing healthier options and tools to help reach healthy goals.
She emphasized that goal setting together is key to your success. Throw away the “DON’T” word, because “Don’t” is equivalent to Deprivation. An example she gave was to set a goal of reduction for sugary drinks. Your goal would be from 6 to 2, then gradually choose to have the sugary drink only on weekends. I saw a personally successful story: a friend decided to control his excessive weight gain by doing these:
Only drink beer and wine on Saturdays: he used to drink beer and wine everyday.
Cut down on carbs.
His wife reported that he lost 14 pounds in a month.
At least 60 minutes of moderate and vigorous activity per day (at least 10 min per session).
Importance of the child’s choice and pleasure in the activity.
Reduce non-academic screen time to max. 2hours both in the weekdays and weekend days.
Key points on added sugar:
According to the American Heart Association, set daily limits for added sugars:
- Men: 36 grams of added sugar/day (9 sugar cubes/teaspoons).
- Women: 24 grams of added sugar/day (6 sugar cubes/teaspoons).
- Children: 24 grams of added sugar/day (6 sugar cubes/teaspoons).
Final words: Parent provides, child decides.
(I think this is a powerful message and a good tool to use. Whoever buys food for the family, community is the essential person to improve on your lifestyle. If there is no beer or Coca Cola in the refrigerator, your chance of making bad choices is less.)
Here are good visual reminders of our sugar intake. Please take note –
*Italics are Sheila’s remarks.
Your homework from the Care Ministry this week: set a new goal for yourself incorporating some of the strategies we have presented these past weeks.
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