Monday, November 23, 2009

Childhood Obesity

The astonishing statistics have shown that over 12 million American children are dangerously overweight. By the year 2010, many experts have predicted that a fifth of them will be obese. This is an alarming statistic, children who are obese are more at risk for developing diseases that would not usually occur until later in life. Diseases such as diabetes, joint problems, liver disease, gallstones, and cognitive problems all can be a result of obesity in children.

Parents, adults, and caregivers need to help fight this issue in American families. There are some genetic issues related to obesity, however, diet and nutrition have more to do with childhood obesity than anything. Who gives a child a soda? Who prepares their meals? Parents and caregivers are the ones who enable this type of lifestyle. Soda, for example, has no nutritional value and if anything has more additives and preservatives that enable an addiction in children and adults. This is not even mentioning the high fructose corn syrup or artificial sweeteners. The most shocking of all confessions I have heard from parents is that, "I give my kid diet, because it's better for them." Diet soda's have been proven to make people gain more weight. Did you know that the sugar equivalents in one can of soda is 10 packets. Would you allow your child to sit there and dump 10 sugar packets into a glass of water and drink it? Most likely not, because you would have a visual of just how much sugar they are putting into their systems. Yes it is easy to serve up fast food and it is convenient to allow your kids to eat processed foods. But parents needs to get a grasp on the severity of what they allow their families to consume.

This is not just coming from someone who believes that eating healthy is the right thing to do, these are real facts that are plaguing generations of children. Adults need to set the example and encourage their younger children to eat right, drink water, and get frequent exercise. For their overall vitality and health encouraging better eating and drinking habits help better their lives.

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