A recent study on children’s nutrition, commissioned by the Greater Chicago Food Depository, presented some very alarming information. As we have said time and again, research shows that unhealthy children have vastly greater chances of becoming unhealthy adults. It has been said that this generation of children will be the first in history to see a decline in average age expectancy, living shorter lives than their parents. This is largely the result of chronic disease epidemics such as diabetes, heart disease and cancer.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimate that 1 in 3 children born in the year 2000 will develop diabetes in their lifetime. As you know, diabetes is a lifelong struggle to normalize ones body. Should an individual neglect their constant duties, the result can be loss of limbs, eyes, organ failure or death. Diabetes forces individuals to spend constant time and consideration to maintain their health, but also requires significant lifetime costs. All for something that is preventable.
A major way to prevent this growing disease: Nutrition. The Greater Chicago Food Depository found that 45% of children surveyed had missed a major meal within the previous 24 hours. 15% missed breakfast, 23% lunch and 15% dinner. If you do the math, you will find that some children missed more than one important meal.
Now I’m not a major proponent of recommended daily values, but the following numbers are shocking. There wasn’t a single food category where half of the children surveyed met the recommended daily value (sugars were not included). Less than 8 % were getting recommended amounts of fruits and vegetables and less than 1% were getting recommended values of all food groups.
Though these numbers on the lack of nutrition in children’s lives pertain to Chicago in particular, I would be willing to bet that similar numbers can be found in many metropolitan areas around the country. If we do not feed our children right, disease projections will come true providing a grim future for our world. If you are interested in learning about the foods you eat, visit our series on Organic Eating.
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
Greater Chicago Food Depository