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Daddy Will You Buy Me Some Diabetes?

Aug 14, 2008
The rate of childhood obesity is on the rise. Unhealthy habits have led to overweight children having obesity-related health conditions, such as type 2 diabetes and elevated blood pressure. These diseases were previously seen only in adults.

Obesity is a threat to the health of children in many ways. Obesity impacts multiple systems of the body including:

* Cardiovascular system
* Pulmonary system
* Gastrointestinal system
* Orthopedic system

Over 12 million children in the United States suffer with childhood obesity. This is an alarming statistic and a frightening one for parents. The incidences of childhood obesity increased 100 percent over the last ten years.

The reasons for obesity are a societal as well as physical. There are two major forces that have created this phenomenon of overweight children in our society.

The first major impact on the weight of our children is the amount of fast food that is eaten on a daily basis. The fast food industry has changed the American diet into a junk food melee that lacks healthful options. Fast food consumption combined with the sedentary lifestyles of kids who play expensive video games rather than
playing outside contributes to the high incident of overweight children.

These activities contribute directly to the causes of obesity in children and to unhealthy parents. Children need at least 90 minutes of moderate-to-vigorous physical activity every day to reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease. Parents need at least 30-45 minutes of exercise.

Children need a nutritious diet for adequate growth and development. Unfortunately, fast food does not provide the nutrients that children need. Healthy eating is almost a lost art for the normal family. Take out menus and fast food has become the normal way to get the family fed. These lifestyle choices lead to obesity, high blood pressure and a myriad of other health issues for not only adults but for our children.

A summary of the basic problems with the eating habits of a nation
are summed up by Eric Schlosser in his book "Fast Food Nation"

"A generation ago, three-quarters of the money used to buy food in the United States was spent to prepare meals at home. Today half of the money used to buy food is spent at restaurants -- mainly at fast food restaurants". A hamburger and french fries is the quintessential American meal ... thanks to the promotional efforts of the fast food chains. The typical American now consumes approximately three hamburgers and four orders of french fries every week."

These facts reveal the problem. Some ways to correct this problem are in the hands of adults. Some short-terminterim solutions are offered below:

* Focus the family's diet on healthy foods.
* Encourage an increase in physical activity.
* Have a wide variety of healthy snacks on hand for snacking.
* Prepare a nutritious meal plan for the family.

Parents can take more proactive steps to prevent childhood obesity by preparing and serving nutritious meals at home. Taking the family on a hike or a bike ride after supper is a fun option for the whole family. Let children decide on some activities. Kids can get involved in their own health improvement by making physical activity an after school priority.

The goal is to follow healthy lifestyle suggestions as close as possible. Make baby steps until you can achieve the goal of good eating habits for the whole family.

It is hard to change entrenched bad eating habits. The rules will always get broken some of the time - allow for flexibility. The problems that keep us from doing all the right things is usually lack of time. No one has enough of it.
About the Author
For healthy recipes for children check out http://www.kidapprovedmeals.com
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