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Ayurveda Weighs in on Childhood Obesity

Sep 7, 2008
In my previous article I have started to give you the building blocks for using Ayurveda to manage and cure any weight or obesity disorders and issues plaguing the children in your life, but this is only the beginning.
In the simplest terms, using chemicals and drugs to treat childhood obesity is a big no-no. Despite what the American Academy of Pediatrics is proposing, feeding our children cholesterol-lowering drugs (Statins) means putting them at risk for tissue damage and a whole host of other side effects. And it's setting them up for a life of dependence on unsafe, unnatural, "silver bullet" answers to whatever ails them.

Wouldn't you rather teach them safe, natural ways to combat their health issues...knowledge that they can use now and as they grow into adulthood?

That's where Ayurveda comes in! By diagnosing which of the three main types of digestive imbalances and tendencies your child may be suffering from - "Visnagni" or "nervous stomach"; "Tiksnagni" or "acid stomach"; or "Mandagni" or "too much stomach mucus clogging fat channels" - you can use Ayurvedic techniques to relieve them of their pain and keep their weight at healthy levels.

Refresh your memory about these imbalances with my post "The Answer to Childhood Obesity? Ayurveda! - NOT Statin Drugs."
You do if you read my post "Childhood Obesity: Not Just a 'Fat' or 'Lazy' Problem"! I cringe when I hear people refer to an overweight child as "fat" or "lazy." It's unfair and inaccurate - and we should know better than to force such a stigma upon the innocent. As the adults in our relationships with kids, it's our responsibility to get them to the root of their weight issues and provide them with the love and the methods to keep them on a path twoard happiness, health and well-being.

Determining your child's "dosha" or "governing principle" is the first step on that journey. Does your child have a "vata" dosha? A "pitta" dosha? Or a "kapha" dosha? Each dosha carries with it its own set of physical, spiritual and nutritional characteristics.

By simply observing their behaviors and key elements of their physiques, you can figure out which dosha your child possesses. And once you do, you and your Ayurvedic doctor can create safe and natural lifestyle changes that will help your child thrive and grow into healthy individuals.
As I said, this is only scratching the surface of what Ayurveda can do to help you help your children win the battle of weight and digestive issues. And if your child is lucky enough to have avoided obesity?

Well, according to the CDC (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention), studies have proven that the "*prevalence of overweight [children] is increasing: for children aged 2-5 years, prevalence increased from 5.0% to 13.9%; for those aged 6-11 years, prevalence increased from 6.5% to 18.8%; and for those aged 12-19 years, prevalence increased from 5.0% to 17.4%." *Taken from data from two NHANES surveys (1976-1980 and 2003-2004).

If those percentages are correct, then I'm sure there's a child in your life - your daughter or son, your niece or nephew, or even your neighbor or a friend's child - that is suffering from issues concerning their weight.

Be a beacon of hope and help for them by sharing my eZines with them and their parents. Help them - and yourself - learn a more efficient system to examine and manage childhood weight and obesity problems.

Ayurvedic management begins with knowlege of the child you want to help; that's not info you can get from any public source. You need to observe them and map out their unique systems to understand how to apply Ayurvedic techniques.

Add to your wellness ayurveda knowledge base. No one approach is right for every child . Understanding the unique digestive type and body type is a road map for a healthy life.
About the Author
Dr. Helen Thomas Add Ayurveda to your wellness Knowledge Base! Go to http://www.effortlessayurvediclivng.com Sign up for weekly ezine and get FREE book on Ayurveda
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