Obesity in the U.S has tripled since the late 1900´s, says the Department of Health and Human Services, but many Helix students are focused on staying healthy so they can be the best athlete possible.
Karalyn Reynolds, a Sophomore at Helix High School, is one athlete who is conscience about her diet. ¨Most of the time I keep a healthy diet throughout the week, unless its movie night; then I have to have ice cream,¨ she said.
Athletes at Helix believe that it is important to not only eat healthy, but also to stay hydrated and drink lots of water. Junior Kaylee Cope can always be found with a water bottle in class. ¨Ideally, I would like to drink three water bottles (per day) but I only usually drink one,¨said Cope.
Diets are another important part of healthy eating, many believe diets are good while others do not. However, when they are as active as many of these athletes, diets can be very harsh on their bodies, luckily many people at Helix know this and avoid diets. Reynolds says, “I only cut down on certain foods, but I don't go on diets.¨
Healthy habits are very important for anyone, especially for students. Breakfast is especially important for athletes, however many do not eat it. “ I don't really mind breakfast, I'll eat it, but it's not my main meal,¨ said Reynolds.
Healthy eating sets the building blocks for a healthy eating habit lifestyle. Society can't expect adults to have healthy eating habits when they don't learn how to eat healthy as a kid. ¨Eating healthy to me is very important because in order to be fit and happy you have to eat healthy,¨ said Cope.
However, it's understandable for teens to crave unhealthy food, or even eat large amounts of unhealthy food because that's how humans have been raised, but it becomes a problem when all they are eating is junk food. Eventually, their bodies will begin to slow down and begin to not process those foods very well. The American Diabetes Association says that approximately 1.25 million children have developed Type 1 Diabetes. This number just keeps growing every year.
Helix High School students are lucky because they have a school cook who loves her job and is good at it. Patty Sederburg takes pride in her job and cooking healthy meals for the students at Helix. Every meal is served with vegetables or fruit. Students are free to choose to eat those healthy choices, but a majority of the student body does eat at the school now that the local store has been closed. Some students go home for lunch or pack a lunch. In this case, eating healthy falls on them.
Some coaches at Helix really reinforce healthy eating habits, but some do not. Volleyball Coach Dan Headley really stresses healthy eating, along with drinking lots of water, however, the basketball and cross country coaches do not.
Cross Country coach Jeff Newtson focuses more on his athletes eating carbs to give them energy. They need fast energy, and it is carbs that provides that for them. Volleyball focuses more on long-lasting energy, which can be achieved by eating proteins and other good fueling foods.
In America alone, the rate of diabetes and obesity continues growing substantially. Kids all over America are forgetting what it is like to eat a healthy diet.
Healthy eating is a choice, one that Helix kids, with the encouragement of their coaches, are trying to hold up. With the help of the community and their families, it is possible to do that--and avoid cardiometabolic diseases.