This January, we said goodbye to Coach Brandon. He is relocating to Prosper, Texas to manage a Fresh Healthy Cafe and takes his example and message of fitness and good nutrition with him. We will miss him in Largo, Florida but know that his enthusiasm and energy will inspire a whole new group of people in the great state of Texas! Coach Brandon with original Fit Kids Zachary and Winchester Dermody.
September is National Childhood Obesity Awareness Month. One in three children are obese in America. There is a lifetime of health risks ahead for these children who are our children. Childhood Obesity is not inevitable, it’s a choice we’ve made as a society. We’ve chosen to eat poorly because it’s convenient and cheap and we’ve chosen to keep our children indoors because we are afraid for them. Okay, it’s time for a change. Change begins at home, one child at a time. It’s harder to eat poorly at home, if there is no junk food available and its easier to be active if parents are active with their children. Parents have a special responsibility for the health of their children that goes beyond vaccinations and doctors visits. For more information, go the Alliance for a Healthier Generation.
In June 2013, I offered two weeks of Fit Kids summer camp at Southwest Complex. Each week was maxed out with 25 kids. I was sad to turn some kids away.The average age of Fit kids was 11 years old, ranging from 5 to 16. The first week we had more boys than girls and the following week we had more girls than boys. During each week, we all walked 6 miles, swam as far as 500 meters and spent hours on the field doing speed and agility drills. In those two weeks, I learned once again that kids really love fast food and sugar. Also, parents cook a lot of dinners from a box. For example, hamburger helper, instant potatoes, and mac & cheese. Out of the 25 kids, 9 children had wonderful food logs and ate very healthy. The others had a lot of fast food and processed foods on their food logs. It was a wonderful experience for my kids and me. It definitely opened some of my kids eyes and their parents too. After the camp, a lot of the kids signed up for a month of Fit Kids on Thursday afternoon. Successful Summer!!! Coach Brandon
Today is the end of National Physical Education and Sport Week. Pamela Settle,editor of Tampa Bay GoodLiving Magazine, Tanya Lewis, parent and CEO of GreenGlider, and me, Chrisoula Kiriazis, spoke at a meeting of the Pinellas County School Board, encouraging the board to maintain daily physical education in our schools. Brandon McIntosh and fit kid Winchester Dermody were there to support us. We learned that Pinellas County Schools employ certified PE teachers to give our children high quality PE. If your child attends a Pinellas County school and you believe that children need activity every day, call your principal and let them know. Nutrition thought for the month: Cost of Beyonce promoting high fructose corn syrup AKA Pepsi: $50 million Benefit of avoiding sugary drinks: Priceless
Yesterday, Brandon and I met with Wenonah Hauter, author of “Foodopoly” and executive director of food and water watch. “Foodopoly” is enlightening in showing us how the production of food has been taken over by large corporations who buy our politicians’ votes. Their main goal is to make lots of money. Most of the money they make doesn’t stay local. Scientists employed by these companies work hard to create the perfect mix of salt, fat and sugar that creates an addictive craving in our brains. They use advertising to target our children. Who wouldn’t want a “Happy Meal”? Even food we would consider real, like eggs, milk, chicken, pork and beef is injected with chemicals, hormones and antibiotics before it arrives at our table. We are what we eat. We therefore need to know what we are eating. If you are curious, pick up Wenonah’s book and learn more. Nutrition Tip of the Month Avoid eating food that has an infinite shelf or refrigerator life. Examples: lunchables, doritos, fish sticks, chicken fingers, hot pockets, oreos. If it doesn’t go bad, it’s probably very bad for you….. Dr. K