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Childhood obesity can be prevented

Obesity is the single most widespread health problem facing children in America today.

A national survery (1) conducted between 1986 and 1998 showed a doubling of the incidence of obesity in children ages 4 to 12 years old - from about 10% to nearly 22% during that 12-year period.

Childhood obesity has only has a few major causes:

 
  • Inactivity (watching TV instead of playing outdoors to get exercise)
childhood obesity tv
  • Drinking soda and juice instead of water
  • Eating sugar, including sugar-containing juices, cereals and snacks
  • Eating junk foods, on which more parents are relying on to feed their families, because of their busy schedules.

 

Overweight and obese children are more likely to suffer from low self-esteem and depression as a result of their being overweight. Obesity can take a huge emotional toll on a child.

Overweight children are also at higher risk for increased health problems including heart disease, high blood pressure, gastrointestinal problems, and in particular type 2 diabetes.

 

Childhood obesity and type 2 diabetes

Suppose that you are an obese child who is afflicted with diabetes, a disease which will almost guaranty a premature death in middle age. Over the years, you might develop kidney failure or heart disease. Arterial disease might make you blind, or cause you to lose a limb.

Now, imagine that you could avoid these health complications by avoiding sugar-filled snacks, soda and other junk foods, replacing them instead with REAL FOODS: fruits and vegetables, good protein sources like low-fat yogurt and raw eggs, etc, along with exercising on a regular basis to maintain your weight.

These questions are very real for the increasing number of obese children in the U.S. who are diagnosed with type 2 diabetes.

For example, an overweight boy who develops type 2 diabetes while a teenager and is left untreated will likely develop health problems with his heart, eyes, kidneys, and feet by the time he reaches his early 30s.

Obese children who do not develop type 2 diabetes, will nevertheless be at a higher risk for many diseases, such as recurrent infections, depression, fibromyalgia and others.

 

Parents are key to controlling childhood obesity.

This is worth repeating: parents are key to controlling their child's obesity. Some of the ways parents can get involved in their child's life to prevent obesity and a lifetime of chronic diseases are:

- Encourage a healing diet.

Encouraging one's child to have a healing diet does not mean putting the child on a low-calorie or low-carbohydrate diet, or not allowing the child to eat when they're hungry.

childhood obesity vegetables

A child needs nutrients and calories to develop and grow, we just need to ensure these come from healthy foods, not from junk/processed foods.

- Reduce sugar intake. A main contributor to obesity (as well as cavities) is sugar, found in abundance in soda, powered juices, breads and junk foods. According to some statistics, for every soda or sugar-sweetened juice a child drinks daily, their risk of obesity jumps 60%.

Eliminating soda and sugar-sweetened juices is a good first step toward reducing the amount of sugar in a child's diet. Drinking pure water is the best option.

- Exercise is an extremely IMPORTANT factor in obesity. Overweight and obese children will need a minimum of a half-hour of exercise daily. Any physical activity that gets your child away from the TV set is a good idea.

children obesity tennis
At first, you can try walking with your child, and then gradually increase the intensity to include activities such as running and using a mini-trampoline, which many children take naturally to. Team sports such as soccer and basketball are also a good idea.

Exercise helps to stabilize blood glucose levels, which is the #1 goal of diabetes treatment, and helps make the cells more responsive to insulin.

- Emotions can play an important role in childhood obesity, because many children’s efforts to lose weight get sabotaged by emotional eating. The child may find it difficult to give up their cravings for junk food snacks which provide emotional comfort.

I have been helped in my own life by the profound teachings of Maharishi Mahesh Yogi. Transcendental meditation has helped me make marked improvements in not only my health and behavior but all aspects of my life. I highly recommend you look into it .






 



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References

(1) JAMA December 12, 2001;286:2845-2848

 

 

 
 

Disclaimer: Throughout this website, statements are made pertaining to the properties and/or functions of food and/or nutritional products. These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration and these materials and products are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease.

2009 Healing Daily