I have often said that in this day and age it takes a lot to surprise me. Despite this fact, I just read an article that absolutely floored me. The article was published in The Telegraph newspaper and the title read, “Obese Child Stroke Victim Aged Just Six.” Here we are in 2011, with access to more information about health than at any other time in our history, and we have children dying because they’re grossly obese and suffering from severe chronic illnesses like strokes, heart disease, cancer, diabetes, and I could carry on this list for pages. Why are we allowing this to happen? More than that, what is going through the minds of the parents? If you read the article, you will find parents feeding their young children bottles with milk and mashed up chips, sodas, mashed up fast food, and I’m sure there’s probably a lot more than this. How sad is it that we as parents don’t have the discipline or self control to teach our kids the value of proper nutrition and exercising? Let’s take a closer look at obesity.
Obesity is a severe problem here in the United States. Since 1990, there has been a massive increase in obesity. If you want to see for your self, take a look at this slideshow from the CDC here. Now many will choose to make the argument that obesity is a genetic disease and that these kids (or grown-ups for that matter) are just suffering due to bad genes. I have heard that since 1990, obesity has increased almost 600%. Now I don’t know if that’s 100% accurate or not, regardless, it’s very evident that obesity is an ever growing problem. If you look at the CDC statistics, you will see a dramatic increase in obesity rates. My question is where was the huge genetic shift that occurred that caused that increase? Oh wait, there wasn’t one! It’s ridiculous to assume that we’re getting fatter due to bad luck, bad germs or bad genes. We are our own problem. Our kids are getting fat because our parents aren’t making them do what they need to. In the words of my friend Dr. James Chestnut, “You go and take your dog for a walk while you leave your fat kid on the couch.” I believe we are entering a pivotal time in healthcare because the decisions we are making today will absolutely affect tomorrow.
So what can you do to prevent childhood obesity? First you have to teach your kids what it truly means to be healthy and that sitting on the couch and eating a diet consisting of solely junk food will make them fat. Chips, sodas, Little Debbie snack cakes, etc. aren’t real food. They should not be a staple in their diets! I sometimes hear parents saying that they can’t make their kids eat good food or get them to stop eating the bad food. I think that is a poor excuse personally. If your kids were playing in the street and a car was coming would you idly sit there and say “Oh well, I can’t get them out of the street so I guess they’re going to get hurt.” No way!!! You would fight with everything you had to save them. You should do the same for their health everyday! As well, we have to get our kids up and get them moving! Movement is life! It’s time for us as parents to do our jobs and actually teach our kids about healthy lifestyle choices so that they don’t end up like many of us or our parents! Our kids are suffering because in many cases we aren’t parenting them. It’s time for a change. Enough ranting. Have a blessed day!
Yours in Health,