Thursday, January 21, 2010

Round-the-Clock Snacking

The headline of this N.Y. Times article says it all: Snack Time Never Ends. In the article, Jennifer Steinhauer writes:

During a single week in December, I was pinged with requests to bring a little food for one play rehearsal, three religious-school events, a school administrative meeting, two soccer games and two multicultural festivals.

... Apparently, we have collectively decided as a culture that it is impossible for children to take part in any activity without simultaneously shoving something into their pie holes.

“Children used to come home, change into play clothes and go outside and play with other children,” said Joanne Ikeda, a nutritionist emeritus at the University of California, Berkeley. “There were not snack machines, and the gas stations only sold gas. Now there are just so many more opportunities to snack and so many activities after school to have snacks.”

And government statistics support this assessment. Between 1977 and 2002, the percentage of Americans eating at least three snacks a day jumped from 11 percent to 42 percent. That helps explain why the child-teen obesity rate has skyrocketed.

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