This is a photograph of Richard taken while eating cereals. Richard always eats cereals every morning. There are a variety of cereals in the market today, from the low energy (calorie) level breakfast cereals to the high energy cereals sweetened with sugar. Richard intake of breakfast cereals regularly has the positive effects of maintaining normal weight as well as the constant energy level required by the body to function normally. He should desist from sweetened cereals which over a period have the effect of increasing adiposity and finally become obese. Once the child is over 2 years old, societal messages about food change dramatically.
Rather than addressing the importance of proper nutrition for health, children become targets of advertising for a multitude of unhealthy foods. Children are exposed to an estimated 10 000 advertisements for food per year, 95% of which are for fast foods, candy, sugared cereal and soft drinks (M. B. Schwartz & R. Puhl, 2003, p58, 61). This is a photograph taken at Richard’s school, Spring Elementary School. On this particular day there was a school board meeting and the school had to provide a lot of food for everyone during the lunch time. An environment can influence food intake.
Where there is unlimited access to high-fat and sweet junk foods lead to overconsumption. It is likely that some children are at higher risk of difficulty self-regulating their consumption and therefore at higher risk of obesity than other children. Food intake fluctuates considerably from meal to meal but the total daily calorie intake is consistent because of appropriate caloric compensation. There is need to determine in early childhood whether a particular child appears to have difficulty self-regulating his or her intake and, if so, provide guidance to the parents on how to help their child manage.
New cognitive–behavioural treatment models for obese children that emphasize goals of adopting healthful eating habits instead of prescribing strict diets may be helpful for this purpose (M. B. Schwartz & R. Puhl, 2003, p63, 68). This photograph I took inside the Ralphs supermarket. I was there to buy some cheese for the Richards’ family, who love cheese a lot. Dairy products vary in energy density, from dry cheese (17. 0 kJ/g) to yoghurt (4. 2 kJ/g) to fluid low-fat milk (1. 6 kJ/g). Dry cheese is another high energy-dense food since it has very low water content.
It’s palatable to many children and a source of high energy because of its high or concentrated fat content (Adam Drewnowski & SE Specter, 2004, p8 ). A lot of cheese tends to increase the body mass index and a child becomes overweight leading next to obesity over a period of time. I advise Richard’s family to keep the consumption of dry cheese to a very minimal if they can not avoid at all. I suggested that he takes more milk than cheese reasons being that milk is low in fat and therefore energy-density.
Milk should be preferred to cheese since its water content dilutes the energy concentration and therefore consumed in low quantity or volume than cheese. A large fast food meal of a double cheeseburger, French fries, a soft drink and dessert could contain 9200 kJ (2200 kcal), which, at 350 kJ (85 kcal) per mile, would require a full marathon to burn off (Ebbeling, Pawlak, Ludwig, 2002, p476). The less cheese Richard takes the easier it will be expending the energy derived and the lesser the likelihood of being overweight. This is another photograph I also took at Ralphs Supermarket.
In this section they display organic vegetables, which Richards’ family prefers to eat. Richard’s family eats a variety of vegetables including Carrots or celery, lettuce, tomatoes, onions, cabbage, tomato sauce or pasta, mushrooms, and broccoli. Vegetables contain antioxidants that eliminate oxidants or free radicals that deposit in the body after the processes of metabolism. Failure to eliminate oxidants will result in the body organs be attacked and then die gradually. The vitamin E found in vegetables help to revitalize the body organs after neutralizing oxidants (John A. Milner & Richard G. Allison, 1999, p2095).
Vegetables are also rich in fibers that assist in easing the digestive processes. With the very low energy content in vegetables the risk of cardiovascular disease is diminished since the high cholesterol levels that attribute to this problem is absent (Ebbeling, Pawlak, Ludwig, 2002, p476-478). Vegetables being highly hydrated its energy content is diluted and as such the risk of becoming overweight is irrelevant. I have recommended Richard’s family to diversify their vegetable range by also including Spinach, green leafy vegetables, green beans, cucumber, pas, corn, asparagus, and artichokes among other low energy vegetables.