American Kids Weigh More Than Canadian Kids -- Go USA!

You don't have to be a health nut who shops at Whole Foods on the regular to realize this country has a serious problem in the eating department. Whether it's super sizing just about anything or finding an excuse not to work out, it was only a matter of time before the effects caught up. A new report from the CDC reveals U.S. kids have a growing obesity problem that sadly makes them tip the scale when compared to their Canadian neighbors.

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The last thing that's probably on any parent's mind is their child's weight. Don't get me wrong, most of us do care when it comes to the type of foods our kids put in their mouths. That doesn't mean we're counting up their caloric intake to see if it falls in a certain range.

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Let me be the first to say that things in this study aren't super clear. For starters, researchers didn't look into the causes behind such high obesity numbers (obviously food is involved). They did mention rates have leveled in the past decade, which could offer some a little sigh of relief.

There still, however, appears to be a pressing issue at hand that deserves a few moments of our time.

The report points out that children as young as age 3, all the way up to 19-year-olds, have high obesity rates -- at times doubling the percentage of Canadian children in the same age group. Close to 20 percent of kids ages 7 and 12 in this country are heavily overweight, compared to just 9 percent of kids the same age from Canada.

Now you can spend your time calculating your child's BMI and looking at the numbers to see where they stack up. Another alternative is to take an honest look at your family's eating habits and any adjustments you can make to ensure everyone in your household is healthy.

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I don't think anyone needs a reminder on the importance of a balanced diet, as well as the effects of eating poorly on your overall health. It would be great if we all had time to throw down in the kitchen as the next Top Chef -- or use those super fancy and expensive ingredients -- but that's not always realistic. Yes, there will be times when you swing past a drive-thru for dinner (oh, the horror!), order pizza after your kid's sporting event, or decide it's the perfect day for ice cream. So long as you don't make it a daily habit, there's nothing wrong with anything in moderation. At least that's what I tell myself after a sweaty session at the gym when I'm dying for a Snickers (sometimes I give in and sometimes I don't).

 

Image via © Lisa Wiltse/Corbis

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