Overweight Children

Overweight Children, Underweight Solutions?

Too many of America’s children are struggling with weight problems.

It might be tempting for some to wonder if the problem of childhood obesity couldn’t simply be legislated away with draconian food laws that take the unhealthiest processed foods off our nation’s grocery shelves and out of vending machines.

There is certainly every reason to want to.  The latest report from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, for instance, shows that the obesity rate among American children now tops sixteen percent, and that fully thirty-two percent are overweight.  Eleven percent actually qualify as “extremely” obese.

These numbers represent troubling new records — for yet another consecutive year — and a cause for growing concern among parents, educators and others who care about where all this is leading.  And what the implications may be for our public healthcare system as overweight children grow into unhealthy adults with a plethora of weight-related health problems.

The response of major food companies has also been far from reassuring.

But can we seriously expect them to undermine the potential of established products, or the profits which they legitimately owe to stockholders and employees?  With billions of dollars tied up in product development and advertising alone, major food producers seem unwilling to make meaningful changes to the formulas of those fat-saturated and calorie-handicapped products which nutrition experts most frequently cite.  And yet, producers are also reluctant to appear totally insensitive to the problem.  The result? — often superficial fat and caloric content reductions in food product lines which barely dent the colossus of concern their products play such a heavy role in creating.

YoNaturals has long been ahead of the curve in offering natural, nutritional solutions to a marketplace desperately looking for better options.  With over one-hundred wholesome snack food and drink products, made specifically to provide consumers with healthier choices, the company stands out as one which understands that the necessary search for profit need not forsake a sense of public-spiritedness.  And can indeed coexist rewardingly with it.

Nutrition

Nutrition: A Family Affair

Although a May report from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention indicated that childhood obesity rates have remained nearly the same from 1999 through 2006, California officials have not declared victory just yet, sponsoring numerous educational programs statewide aimed at combating the epidemic.

One of the most successful programs has been in Riverside County, where county health officials have teamed up with nutritionists, nurses, and doctors to teach participants how to make better health choices. But the catch with this particular program—Riverside Fit Families—is that is not a strict diet regimen.

Rather, the program strives to teach parents and children to collectively educate themselves about the need for exercise as well as the benefits of mindfully counting calories and identifying the amount of fat in the foods they choose to eat. It also stresses the importance of small changes, such as drinking 1 percent milk over 2 percent milk, drinking more water and less soda, and eating more fruits and vegetables over foods such as tortillas and bread. Many of these healthy alternatives are available in YoNaturals vending machines.

Measuring obesity by using an individual’s height and weight (the body mass index) and comparing it to established recommended standards, the CDCP’s study found that approximately 32 percent of the more than 8,100 children surveyed between 2003 and 2006 were overweight, while 16 percent were obese and 11 percent were extremely obese.

Responding to these alarming statistics, Riverside County officials have launched a full-scale assault using RFF, coaching participants how to read and interpret nutrition facts on grocery store labels in an effort to inform families that buying healthier foods does not necessarily have to be more expensive. Furthermore, officials aim to keep families on track by avoiding trying to persuade them to immediately shed pounds or work unrealistic exercise routines into their day, instead letting the pounds melt off naturally through the nutrition tips, which also include buying less red meat and using less cooking oil.

The results have been very encouraging: about 200 people have enrolled in the eight-week session program, with some families sporting numerous individuals who have dropped nearly 10 pounds each by simply changing small aspects of their eating habits.

The success of this program has demonstrated just how far altering commonly overlooked habits such as drinking too much soda can dramatically improve health. Hopefully more counties around the state and even the country can learn from RFF to make nutrition a family affair, because RFF is proof that when families work together to improve health, the benefits are very real. Of course, the most important thing is to provide these healthier alternatives such as YoNaturals healthy vending machines, without which healthy choices cannot be made at all.

healthy vending

Healthy Snacking at Work

If you’re like the average American, then you have probably been known to grab snacks from your office’s vending machines on occasion. In fact, a quick glance at your trash bin will probably reveal your snacking tendencies to anyone and everyone who passes by your desk or workspace. Furthermore, although many people still claim that they don’t judge a book by its cover, most people can (and will) judge your snacks by their packaging, and so should you.

As you might have guessed, the first strike against workplace snacking is that most of the prepackaged food that is sold in the traditional vending machines is not very good for you. The second strike comes from the fact that people who are in a time crunch tend to scarf down their foods so that they can continue on with their work. If you are already skipping a proper lunch, then it’s usually because you feel like that you have too much work to finish or maybe because you are constrained by a deadline. Naturally, many people will feel the need to push on through lunch after grabbing a quick snack from the vending machines. However, this is not the best idea for your health. When you rush yourself through any meal, you are giving your body less time to tell you when it’s full and you should stop eating. Or, alternately, if you’re working while snacking, then you are probably not thinking about how much food that you are actually consuming, and may only stop once everything is gone. It’s mindless eating, and that, in addition to the fact that these snacks are often scarfed down in record times, can quickly derail a diet. Eat too many meals composed of the vending machine’s offerings, and it spells bad news for you and your waistline.

healthy snacking

That said, vending machines do serve a valid purpose in society. And with the amount of work that is piled up on your desk, it is understandable that you would want to pick out a snack from the mechanical vendor rather than taking the time to stop and prepare a meal on your lunch hour. For many people, the vending machine is the only thing standing between them and an empty stomach. Vending machines also come in handy in a pinch when that post lunch lull comes calling. In short, vending machines are definitely a good thing to have around when you need them. The key is to look for healthy snack options offerings, which are usually only found in healthy vending machines like those produced by YoNaturals. Also, take the time to step away from your desk while you have a bite. Your body will thank you for it later.

Food Additive

Food Additive Linked to Miscarriages

While natural and wholesome foods have long been recognized as beneficial to human health, recent years have seen a steady drumbeat of articles and studies indicating that some additives which go into processed foods can be detrimental to health.

Now comes news that trans fatty acids, a common ingredient of processed foods, may be linked to an increased risk of miscarriage among expectant mothers.  Trans fatty acids are already known for the unhealthy role they play in the development of coronary heart disease.  New studies done by Dr. Charles J. Glueck of Jewish Hospital Cholesterol Center in Cincinnati, Ohio and colleagues also find a higher incidence of miscarriage among women who consume high levels of trans fats.  Nor are these two maladies likely to be the last laid at this particular door.

Why is it, then, that the often empty calories of popular snack foods especially so often come laced with trans fats as well as excessive salt and questionable sweeteners?  And why do consumers continue to purchase such products?

Why indeed.  Wholesome, natural foods have never really left the marketplace; It’s just that convenience has played an increasingly important role when it comes to our choices in food.  And there’s the rub.  In its extreme form, this quest for convenience above all else means that processed foods — too often in the form of junk foods — have become a regular part of our diet.  Often through the medium of food vending machines at schools and places of work.

There do certainly exist healthier nutrition choices in the form of fruit, nuts and whole grain products.  And they are widely sold, even through these very same vending machines.  The YoNaturals Corporation has in fact made a growing business of it, distributing over one-hundred varieties of natural and wholesome snack and drink choices through vending machines offering their brand nationwide.

The real wonder, perhaps, is that the vending market for “convenient yet healthy” foods isn’t growing at an even faster pace than it already is!

By substituting better choices in place of those foods least likely to promote personal health, consumers can make a difference to their own futures in a way that is both convenient and delicious.  And food and drink vendors can help by recognizing and taking advantage of a trend that is sure to continue on into a healthier future for us all.foodadd