Childhood obesity, a growing epidemic – Part 2

submitted By Dr. Bruce Lewandowski, owner, Lewandowski Chiropractic & Nutritional Healing, www.lewandowskichiro.com

In December we discussed the growing dilemma of obesity in children. It is a situation of epidemic proportion, which poses many questions such as, “Who is to blame?” The blame game needs to stop and people need to start focusing on solutions. What would happen if each head of the household made a decision today to be a catalyst for change in their own home? Everyone should want to be healthy, and want their children and grandchildren to be healthy.

The challenging part is that the vast majority of individuals do not know where to start. If one listens to the media, one would think it was possible to just purchase a product, which contains a superpower type of herb that is an anti-disease, ultra-healing, and a live-forever “one-a-day.” The truth is that changes need to be made one at a time. Make a list of the worst offenders and those that potentially play the biggest role of the weight issues of children. The food list could include soda, (diet or otherwise), juice (the 10% juice and 90% flavored sugar water kind), cookies, chips, etc. Refuse to purchase them again. It takes guts, but the end goal is worth it!

Probably one of the biggest offenders is high-sugar, high-calorie, nutrient-poor breakfast cereals. Next, make a list of foods that promote health. The easiest place to start is with fruits, such as apples, pears, and oranges. Vegetables, such as green beans, peas, tomatoes, cucumbers, peppers, and salad mix need to be added daily even in spite of protest. Don’t forget about lean cuts of meat, chicken, and fish. Try to limit time in front of the screen and get your kids outside to run, bike, and hike.

A great way to jumpstart the healthy lifestyles of children is to jumpstart our own. In many cases of overweight children, you find overweight parents. Mom and Dad need to work on themselves and become role models. Making healthier living a family lifestyle will help to make the transition a lot easier and successful. Doing more activities together is the best way to go.

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Childhood obesity a growing epidemic

submitted By Dr. Bruce Lewandowski, owner, Lewandowski Chiropractic & Nutritional Healing, www.lewandowskichiro.com

Childhood obesity is defined as a condition in which weight is well above the average in respect to the child’s height and age. Over 15% of children (more than nine million), ranging from ages six to 19, are classified as obese. This rate has almost doubled in the last three decades and does not show signs of slowing down. The prevalence of today’s obesity in our youth is frightening as these children are tomorrow’s citizens and potential health crisis. On our current path these children, many of whom will grow up to become overweight adults, will potentially suffer from diabetes, high blood pressure, heart disease, cancers and other physical, emotional, and social disorders.

Does it surprise you to find that these diseases are showing up in younger and younger individuals?

Childhood obesity can be caused by many different factors from the more obvious, such as diet, to the less frequent, like disease. Perhaps the most common contributor is poor eating habits, whereas in many cases, the parents themselves are overweight.  In our fast-paced lives, fresh fruit and vegetables have been replaced with high-sugar snacks like fruit rollups or high fat, high-calorie, nutrient-poor fast food.

Another factor is physical inactivity. Days of playing kickball and hide-n-seek are readily replaced with video games and TV. In turn, fewer calories are burned off. All unused energy is then stored as fat. Not to be diminished are the psychological or emotional factors that can affect a child’s eating habits. In the February issue, the topic of childhood obesity and action steps that can be taken against this new epidemic will be described. 

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