Dr. Christine Wood, M.D, a practicing pediatrician in Encinitas, California, is the author of How to Get Kids to Eat Great & Love It!, offers some sound advice about developing healthy eating lifestyles for your family.
Here's what Dr. Wood has to say. Today almost one out of three children in the United States is either overweight or borderline overweight and is likely to develop type 2 diabetes. Furthermore, Dr. Wood warns that these obese children may not live longer than their parents ? a depressing thought!
What's causing this trend? Simply stated, Dr. Wood suggested too many calories and too little activity, although it is more complex than that. The mainstream media is marketing fast food and sedentary activities to our children. Consequently, here are some of their unhealthy options:
* Easy access to fast food for stressed out parents.
* Schools offer sodas and candies in their vending machines.
* Children are increasingly exposed to inexpensive, processed food choices.
* Since the introduction of cable TV and remote controls, Game Boy, home personal computers, among other things, more sedentary options are available than ever before.
* Food companies are taking advantage of the time children spend in front by marketing directly to them.
The bottomline, obviously, is that our children are not getting the nutrition and exercise they need. So, what are parents to do? Dr. Wood offers the following suggestions:
* Examine the foods that are brought into the home for their nutritional value.
* Understand how to read nutrition labels.
* Set limits on media and sedentary activities. Encourage family interaction: Does your child really need to have a TV and/or PC in his room?
* Decide, as a family project, the healthy menus and healthy choices of restaurant to frequent.
* Become actively informed in your child's school so that the PTA and School Board may learn about your concerns regarding food choices.
If we don't make some changes, the trends of today predict that our young children will be at high risk for obesity and obesity-related health risks like heart attacks, strokes, asthma, high blood pressure, diabetes, and certain types of cancer.
Encouraging good eating habits and physical lifestyle in our children starts with us, the parents. This includes introducing a quality nutritional supplement program with vitamins, minerals, and essential fatty acids that are necessary protection for our children as they face more nutritional and environmental challenges than ever before.
Remember: When you are maximizing your family's health potential, we everyone wins. When you don't, we all lose.
© Etienne A. Gibbs, MSW
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Etienne A. Gibbs, MSW, Management Consultant and Trainer, conducts seminars, lectures, and writes articles on his theme: "... helping you maximize your potential." For more information and a free health assessment, go to http://eagibbs.usana.com.