Thursday, April 30, 2009


While taking five and browsing through yahoo earlier, I came across this thought provoking blog:

The writer basically wrote about children obesity problem and invited readers to give their comments. Many blame the parents for the problem, although some say obesity is due to a combination of factors too such as genetic, unhealthy school-snacks, TV commercial and of course. ignorance of nutritions.

Being an overweight parent myself, as well as having an overweight 11 year old, I started seriously thinking about this. I realized that I can almost blame myself 100% for this problem, mostly for having been ignorant about nutritions. It's true that in school you learn all about balanced diets, about the food pyramid and the importance of taking from each group. But as far as I can remember, no one ever taught me the importance of counting calories. Coming from a food-loving society, no one bothers about controlled portion etc. Well I've heard that processed food contain way too much unsuitable ingredients like chemical, salt and sugar, but it never occured to me that a 25gm piece of snack can actually have about 200 calories. So it's not only the ingredients, but also the calories that can lead to obesity.

And I remained ignorant until recently. Slowly I am being awakened. I consider it a good start that I now know a person's consumption of food shouldn't exceed the body mass requirement, that is the energy needed to make one's body function. It is not about the size of a portion, its about how much calories the portion has. If one takes more calories than one should, the only way to avoid putting on weight is to exercise enough to burn the calories. I still have to aid myself with a calorie counter book in order to know the calorie intake of everyone in the family, as I'm still getting used to this 'new' knowledge.

For example, my 11 year old's BMR requirement is 1370 cal per day. I have to wisely divide the cals to 5 meals, concentrating on breakfast and lunch. It would roughly be something like this:

a glass of homemade juice 110 cal
two pancakes 186 cal
(296 cal)

a snack bar 129 cal

2 ham sandiches 394 cal
a fruit 55 cal

a cup of rice 127 cal
a cup of vegies 50 cal
a piece of meat/chicken/fish 150 cal

biscuit fruit etc that's about 170 cal
= 1371 cal

Of course that's ideal. I'm still striving to achieve that. Often the girl sneaks to eat a cookie or helps herself to a second helping. As someone who once was growing up and constantly feels hungry (you know how it is to be a kid), I understand that. Sometimes I become stern and tell her off but I wonder if I should be more tolerant, let her take a 100 cal extra and make her exercise more instead.

Of course, this is all easier said than done, but one just has to try harder...



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