Thursday, February 5, 2009

The BODY Project- Youth and Healthy Eating


On January 29, 2008, the Black, Latino and Asian Caucus of the New York City Council hosted a presentation by the BODY Project, a project of the NYU School of Medicine- Institute of Community Health and Research. The project researches the relationship between the epidemic of Type-2 Diabetes among urban youth of color, specifically, and provides at-risk youth education and intervention regarding diabetes and other weight-related health issues.

Council Member James and Team Tish feel strongly that consumers need to be educated about food health and the importance of consuming quality food, as we witness the increase of obesity rates in urban communities, especially in youth. Tish has worked for access to health care for youth through sponsoring Law 2008/04 (http://www.nyccouncil.info/pdf_files/bills/law08004.pdf), which increased access to public health insurance options for parents of children in day care centers. However, conquering this problem must begin with increasing awareness about healthy eating habits and lifestyle habits.

Obesity runs hand in hand with Type-2 Diabetes, so it is important to target one before the other has a chance to develop. The BODY Project has gone into schools and calculated the Body Mass Index (BMI) of students to observe the relationship between weight, health, and diabetes. They have then worked with parents and guardians to educate them on how to eliminate the risk of development of health-related illnesses in their children and teens.

Here are some Quick Facts, and Tips for Parents in healthy eating:

QUICK FACTS

• 1 in 5 (22%) adults are obese in New York City and 34% of them are overweight.
• 24% of children in NYC (grade K-5) are overweight and 19% are obese.
• The risk of diabetes is higher in those of East-Asian, American-Indian, and African-American descent.

• If one develops Type-2 Diabetes under the age of 30, it takes 23 years off a person’s life. The economic costs alone of diabetes are very high.

TIPS FOR PARENTS

• Encourage your children to participate in active sports.
• Give your child a balanced and healthy diet – avoid buying fast foods all the time.
• Juice is not always the healthier option and a way to control high insulin and sugar levels in your children– A glass of pure apple juice can contain up to 10 apples!! Give them water instead!

To learn more about The BODY Project- http://www.med.nyu.edu/ichr/about/research/body.html.

UPDATE: We're so happy to learn that Governor Paterson is supportive of healthy eating! (http://www.nydailynews.com/blogs/dailypolitics/2009/02/battle-of-the-bulge.html).

2 comments:

Shelly said...

A tip: If you are going to give your kids juice, look for low-sugar options like First Juice, that contain 50% less sugar than 100% juice.

Aja Worthy-Davis said...

Great tip, Shelly!