Teenagers Prefer Veggies and Exercise?

foodAll you have to do is skim through any social media page… Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest… to discover that people love writing about food! You’ll find images of all sorts of interesting foods plated, or in the process of being devoured. There’s even a Food Channel! We love food!

There is something about food that lets us tolerate 3-5 advertisements for it on commercial television, or online streaming, between episodes of our favorite shows. The thoughts of growing up, home and grandma often dance through our heads, and make us smile. Friends spark conversations about pancakes, macaroni and cheese, or that buttered corn that tastes like candy… and melts in the mouth. Food and the images of it are everywhere… including our dreams. It is not uncommon to see in some places mountains of rolls, buns, and bread at a meal. And is it actually possible to walk without carrying some sort of drink in hand? It’s no wonder politicians and physicians talk about it. We shake our heads when told that our kids and we, too, are out of shape, and joining the ranks of the obese.

First Lady Michelle Obama launched Let’s Move in February 2010 to solve the obesity problem within a generation’s time span. This certainly is a bit more difficult than President Kennedy’s promise to put men on the moon in a decade, but there seems to have been progress.  Teenagers are actually eating and drinking less sugar—preferring, instead, more fruits and vegetables. That may not be what you see at home or at school—yet, but is makes for interesting reading in a recently release article at Pediatrics.  It is a small difference, though, with biggest changes happening in primary-aged students. That makes sense, since they are still in the model and please stage of life. The story of teenagers choosing fruits and veggies is attention grabbing, but influencing our youngest food and drink consumers is key. If children at the earliest ages can learn to plan and eat healthy, and maintain that healthful style for life, then making a difference in a generation may be possible. We, and they, will need a lot of reminders to do that “Let’s Move”  exercise part, because it goes hand-in-hand with good nutrition.

Ken Royal

Ken Royal is an educator with 34 years of classroom/school and instructional technology teaching experience, as well as a blogger on all things education and education technology. Teaching accomplishments include: 4-time district teacher of the year, Connecticut Middle School Teacher of the Year, as well as Bill and Melinda Gates award for Technology School of Excellence. He is an Education storyteller. Follow @KenRoyal on Twitter.
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