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Spruce up your family's diet: Buy healthy

For the next five weeks, the Eagle Bulletin will be publishing a series of articles based on food politics. The submissions were written by Syracuse University students studying under Professor Nicole Moss, a professional writing instructor.

Any idea what the greatest threat to your kids might be?

Technology? Bullying?

How about the food they eat?

Diet-related diseases are on the rise in the United States and your children are a major target. Fortunately, there are ways to combat them. Knowing a little about what we should eat, how we should eat, and how we should go about shopping for the foods we eat can go a long way to curbing these hazards.

Let's face it; America is obese. And that's not our only problem. USA Today recently reported that by the year 2050, one in three Americans will have Type II diabetes. The risk of developing this form of diabetes rises as children become increasingly overweight, according to Dr. Lynn Brann of the nutrition department at Syracuse University. Fortunately, both are preventable.

To reduce the risk of developing Type II diabetes and obesity, people can make several lifestyle choices; eating habits included. The foods we ingest every day have a direct effect on the performance of our bodies. Eating a balanced assortment of natural, healthy foods is crucial. The healthfulness of a wide variety of diets have been analyzed and tested - from the MyPyramid and DASH diets to the Mediterranean and vegetarianism. Studies essentially show the same results: eat fruits, vegetables, whole grains, nuts, seeds and fish; poultry and meet should be lean and solid fats and sugars should be cut out as possible.

Food contains vitamins and minerals that are essential to our bodies. However, as best-selling author Michael Pollan suggests, it can be helpful to avoid thinking about what we eat in terms of its constituent parts. For example, rather than telling your children that bananas have a lot of Vitamin B6, just appreciate the banana for what it is: healthy.

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