Back to School Special – Healthy Children

Those who do not find time for exercise will have to find time for illness. Earl of Derby
Part 2 – Isn’t it disturbing to hear that obesity in children is becoming an epidemic?  What exactly does that mean?  It means that nearly one out of three American children is clinically overweight or obese.  What does that mean?  Overweight means weighing too much and obesity means having too much body fat.  Both terms mean that a child’s weight is greater than what is considered healthy for his or her height.  You know what?  This doesn’t even begin to tell the full story.

This is what’s happening with our kids.  They are dealing with high blood pressure and high cholesterol.  Type II diabetes, which use to be seen in adults only, is now effecting obese children.  All of these are linked to heart disease, stroke, blindness, kidney disease.  Obese children are twice as likely to die prematurely as adults than kids who are healthy weight.  Add to that the teasing and bullying; depression and low self-esteem; and struggling to keep up with other kids.

As adults, we need to be the ones to step up and become better role models (see last week’s post).  Take the time to read a great article in the May 14, 2010 Newsweek on this problem.

Here are some things we can do to help our children:  Be supportive and encourage healthy eating habits.  Have healthy, tasty snacks (yes, there is such a thing) readily available and make sure they start the day with a healthy breakfast.

Encourage physical activity.  Make it fun and family time.  Be active as a family.  How about having a Zumba party with kids and their parents or a Yoga in the water party and then provide healthy and good nutritious snacks?   Did I mention – make it fun?

Most importantly, be the role model.  Have them see what you are doing to promote health and they will be more likely to adopt a healthy lifestyle.

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