1. More than 1/3 of adults and over 12.5 million children and teens in the US are obese. In the last 30 years, obesity in children and teens has nearly tripled.
2. One can of soda contains 10 teaspoons of sugar and the average American adult drinks 500 cans of soda every year, estimating about 52 pounds of sugar consumed in soft drinks alone.
3. In a survey of 9th through 12th graders in 2011, 13.1% of the teens admitted to skipping breakfast in the past 7 days, while 11.3% had drunk 3+ servings of soda per day in the same time frame.
4. Excess meat consumption is bad for the planet, for our health, and for the well-being of animals. Ask your school to host meatless Mondays in your cafeteria to keep meat consumption down. Sign up for Meatless Mondays.
5. In 2011, more than 15% of the students were overweight, and more than 12% admitted to starving themselves for 24 hours or more in the last month in an attempt to lose weight.
6. Breakfast is the most important meal of the day because it feeds your body and mind with the necessary nutrients and energy to function throughout the day. Eating breakfast regularly will also help keep weight off because it gets your metabolism going.
7. Teens need 9+ hours of sleep per night for their bodies to function properly. Less than 1/3 of high school students in 2011 reported getting 8 or more hours of sleep per night.
8. Physical activity like aerobic exercise (walking, running), muscle-strengthening (weight-lifting), bone-strengthening (jumping rope), and balance and stretching activities (yoga, pilates, dancing) are especially beneficial to a healthy body.
9. Foods that don’t expire contain unnatural preservatives, additives, and chemicals that deteriorate your body. Focus instead on fruits, vegetables, lean meats, whole grains, low-fat dairies, and above all, moderation in whatever you eat.
10. The rate at which your body burns calories when you are resting is called your “resting metabolic rate.” If you cut calories below what’s needed for RMR, your body will go into survival mode because it doesn’t have the energy to perform basic functions.
11. For teens, the recommended caloric intake is 2,100 calories, but it is important to base your diet on your level of physical activity. Depending on how active you are, you can determine how many daily calories are healthy for your weight and lifestyle.