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Childhood Obesity – Baggy Pants – Nose Rings and a – Tummy Roll?

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Every generation of youth has its fads and signs of “I do it my way” in their clothes, jewelry or hairstyle. But one trend is setting this currently younger group apart – obesity. More and more of our children and teenagers are getting “rolls”, flabby and just plain fat at an age when they should be at their best physically.

Why? I think the answer is obvious. Junk food is too readily available for our young people. Mochas and burgers are typically a 5 minute drive from high school, giving teens access to empty calories throughout the day. To make matters worse, cafeterias offer fast-food-esque fare because “they’re going to eat it anyway,” not to mention vending machines flashing their impulse foods in many nooks and crannies of school halls.

How do we fight this? How can parents help their offspring avoid the slippery descent into poor health and obesity? Fortunately, we are seeing more and more cooperation in schools in getting rid of vending machines and creating better menus for the cafeterias. But the first best The choice, obviously, is to teach them EARLY to make better eating choices. Help them see the benefits of healthy eating habits while they are young. As they get older, talk about heart disease, diabetes, arthritis, etc. and how they are a direct result of regular poor eating habits.

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When I was young, I remember seeing drunks slumped on the side of the road downtown. My father always said that the poor guy made one bad decision too many and chose alcohol as the solution to his life problems. Alcohol has its way with a man’s life and will slowly kill him unless he makes a radical about-face.

So what does this have to do with junk food? It’s so relevant it’s scary. Doctors are finally making strides in both researching and diagnosing diabetes (and that other big problem: heart disease). It is evident that these diseases are a direct result of our regular intake of junk calories. Sugar and its white cousins ​​are believed to be the leading causes of diabetes and heart disease, the second cousins ​​of adult obesity. Sugar is slowly killing us just as surely as alcohol kills drunks—unless we put on a radical face…and STOP eating the food that’s killing us.

Why don’t parents do the same for their kids and carefree eating habits? Why don’t we take them to the hospital’s intensive care unit and long-term care units to see the ultimate results of eating too much sugar? Hey, we don’t even have to go that far. Fat and panting people surround us as we do our shopping. Why not point out (discretely) that, like the alcoholic, they are headed for a certain and miserable death.

why not us Because we as parents become victims of these diseases ourselves and suffer from early or progressive symptoms of these diseases either through ignorance or carelessness. Junk food, the empty calories that make our kids chubby, are the same foods we are addicted to ourselves. It is difficult to admit that we are the cause of our children’s illnesses; that we are the ones who have to change something – first.

But we can change! And we must do this for the sake of our children as well as our own. Let’s start making better choices when it comes to eating at home and on the go. You know you’ll be hungry when you’re away from home, so plan on some good groceries. Almonds, dried fruit such as raisins, fresh fruit, a small cool box with cheese sticks, mineral water or juices. A sandwich or veggies on ice are also excellent options. If you know you want something sweet, bring cookies you made at home or granola bars you bought ahead of time.

Solutions are easy. Discipline is tough. Take one step at a time to make better food choices. Start taking responsibility today to improve the health of your children and young people. Give them the chance to live a long, healthy and useful life.

Thanks to Cheryl Hines

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