I graduated from high school in the 1970s – I know, that was a long time ago! Anyway, I was looking through my high school annual the other day and was surprised at what I found (on many levels, actually). This is not something I do very often. In fact, I probably haven’t looked at that book for more than 5 years.

I was struck by the group photos in the book. There were almost no overweight people in the photos! How could that be? What has changed in recent years? Studies tell us that in 2012 about 1/3 of U.S. teens are overweight or obese, yet there were very few overweight people in my yearbook, and not a single person who was truly obese.

I chatted about this issue with some friends and their reactions were interesting. They pointed out that, when we were in high school, there were no video games, fast food was a “treat,” we all took our lunch to school each day, we ate most dinners at home, and there were only 3 main networks on TV. It truly was a different era.

I spent afternoons playing basketball or touch football with friends in my neighborhood. I rode my bike to school each day, and I had chores around the house each day too. Teens are far less active today. Many people spend their afternoons watching TV, playing video games, surfing the web or texting friends. In addition, our eating habits have changed. We eat out more often and we consume more calories on average too.

This combination of less exercise (fewer calories being expended) and more food (more calories being consumed) is at the root of the U.S. weight issue. And it won’t get any better until we as parents take control of our kids’ health by helping them make healthier choices each day. Many of the eating habits we develop as children and teens follow us throughout our lives, so teaching kids about healthy eating is so important.

So, let’s reverse the obesity trend starting today. Take the time to teach your kids about nutrition and healthy eating. Help them make healthier choices when you have the opportunity. Kids are like sponges – they will absorb whatever knowledge they are exposed to. Help them create healthy habit today, and for the future.

Remember, healthy choices each day can transform families for generations! What choices will you make today?

Do You Wish Your Kid’s Ate Better? Check out our FREE eBook at www.HealthyFamilyFuture.com. Many of the strategies in this book can be used by both children and adults.
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You may also want to read: Exercise: It Can Be About More Than Health, Childhood Obesity: Education is Essential, Healthy Kids: Focus on Snacks

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4 Responses to What’s Changed Since the 1970s?

  1. Yep the good old days – we practically LIVED outside when I was a kid – in fact we wanted to be away from our parents and exploring our world – I wonder how much of a role FEAR has played in the ways we have evolved. There is a pervasive message that has been delivered that letting your kids have unstructured free time outdoors might be a dangerous thing so either they are IN or they are in structured programs and not given the opportunity to just explore, stretch and grow the way nature intended!
    Amethyst Wyldfyre recently posted..Successful Business Women – Go Speak Dating!–Part 6 – What Was it Like?My Profile

    • Vitaerobics says:

      You and me both! I can’t remember ever coming home from school and just “camping” in front of the TV like so many kids do today. The question about the role of fear is interesting. That may be more cultural than real. I suggest you read “The Fourth Turning” by William Strauss and Neil Howe. Interesting read, though it is pretty dense – not a casual read on cold winter days in front of the fire!

  2. Gina Hiatt says:

    That took me back! I was not as active as you, but it’s true that there weren’t as many alternatives. I had to walk to where the other teenagers were hanging out — I couldn’t just text them to see if they were there, or even call them on their cell phones. We did a lot of walking. And there wasn’t as much to keep us at home glued to a screen, as you mentioned. I weighed 104 in high school, believe it or not (yes, I’m short). I’ll have to take a look at some high school pictures of others. I don’t believe there were any obese kids in my high school either. I’m not sure there were any in my son’s or daughter’s high school — that’s eomthing I could check, also.
    Gina Hiatt recently posted..Getting It Done Myth #2: You must have long blocks of time to invest in the projects that mean the most to you.My Profile

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