Many parts of the globe are experiencing a prosperity boom. Yet, the world is suffering from the silent killer that affects young and old people alike called obesity. It is aggressively moving through our communities. More than likely, if you are not directly affected, the chances are that you have friends or family members who are losing control of their weight.
For some people, this is tied to their genetics. There are several genetic triggers that, when we lived hand to mouth as a species, were survival traits. One ability is being able to store fat in our bodies during prosperous times. It served as an insurance of survival in the winter or when times when food was scarce. Yet as we progressed and developed certain skills that made us adapt to our environment we have, as a population, become more sedentary as we progressed and also developed more technology.
We see so many adults who are now overweight. Yet I would say that the biggest victims of the obesity epidemic are the children because with unhealthy adults about, chances are, the children are also not properly looked after. A research conducted by Dr. Frédéric Guénard and Dr. Marie-Claude Vohl in the field of Epigenetics found that obesity during pregnancy predisposes children to lifelong excess body weight and increased risk of heart disease. We must not allow our children to become victims of an over active appetite. If you pay close attention to the dietary counselors, you’ll discover that a slightly overweight child soon becomes an overweight teen. As you may have already guessed, this teen now becomes an obese adult. Unfortunately, abnormal weight gain is the least of the problem. The major issues center around the many diseases associated with childhood obesity, including asthma, diabetes and some cancers.
At the ages of 12 – 16 is when most young girls and boys are self-conscious about their bodies even “normal looking” kids get teased. If we allow our children to continue down a slippery slope toward obesity, we are setting them up for a very difficult childhood full of unhappy memories and ailments.
On the positive side of things, I want to let you know that there is hope. There is an easy way to solve this downward trend.
Look back at your younger days and remember what you did as a kid before the electronic babysitters came on the scene. If you recall this time in your life, you will more than likely remember going to the park with friends, playing kick ball or soccer.
After a long day of playing, you were met with a cool glass of milk, water or juice. A sugary cake or pie were a nice end to a full day of activity and not what’s now become the new breakfast of champions.
Contrary to the popular belief, it is possible to train children to eat healthy foods. Discipline must first start at home. Do not buy overtly sweet drinks or anything unhealthy. If they are not in your house and fridge then chances are, you and your kids will not be eating them. Researchers have uncovered an alarming link between drinking diet sodas and consuming high fat luncheon meets with cases of certain brain cancers. If you gain nothing else from this article, at least follow this one tip, please, do not allow your kids to drink soft drinks. Remember, water first before any juices or milks.
As for snacks, limit their intake of high sugar and high fattening foods and increase their consumption of fruits and vegetables. This may not be as hard as you think. Consider this, if your kids are not of driving age and do not have a job, the only reason they are eating the way they are is because you as the parent purchase the unhealthy food in your kitchen. Trust me, if you don’t buy it, they will immediately decrease their over consumption. Oh yeah, they’ll complain however it is up to you to be the parent.
When it comes to leisure activities, encourage your kids to play sports – soccer, baseball, softball, swimming. Not all kids will have an aptitude for them, and some aren’t ready to socialize in large groups when the rest of their peers are in front of their computers just typing stuff away and watching videos. For those kids, make time out every week to go on a hike for a mile or two. If you get in the habit of walking for a mile as a family every day after dinner, everyone will be healthier, and you’ll be staving off the perils of the obesity epidemic.
Start early with your children. Sit down with them and honestly and directly explain why living a healthy lifestyle is important. If you are reading this today, you are the future of your family. Always remember, nothing tastes as good as being healthy feels.