Are the children in your life a healthy weight?

Posted on September 20, 2016 by Gerry

Childhood obesity is defined as a condition where excess body fat negatively affects a child’s health or well-being. As methods to determine body fat directly are difficult, the diagnosis of obesity is often based on BMI. Due to the rising prevalence of obesity in children and its many adverse health effects it is being recognized as a serious public health concern. Overweight and obesity are the result of caloric imbalance too few calories expended for the amount of calories consumed, and are affected by various genetic, behavioral, and environmental factors. Overweight is defined as having excess body weight for a particular height from fat, muscle, bone, water, or a combination of these factors. Obesity is defined as having excess body fat.

Obesity in childhood and adolescence appears to track into adulthood, increasing the risk of developing cardiovascular disease, diabetes mellitus and certain cancers in adulthood. To mount effective preventive efforts, we need better information regarding the factors involved in the etiology of childhood obesity and overweight children.

High fat fast food diets are becoming more of a staple in children’s diets, and even when they do receive home cooked meals, some children suffer poor diets as parents often are not aware of the nutritional value of the foods they prepare. It’s kind of a double whammy for children, they are getting poorer nutrition in the food’s they eat, and they are exercising less to burn off the extra calories.

It is apparent that obesity is triggered by eating a diet high in fat and calories, being sedentary, or a combination of both. There can be other factors, including genetics, hormones, behavior, environment, and culture. And, obesity is not limited to grown-ups. Approximately 25 to 30 % of adult obesity cases began with childhood obesity. You have heard the story, “I was overweight when I was younger, and this is something that has continued into adulthood.”

To help arrest the trends in childhood obesity, both the Surgeon General and the Institute of Medicine have recommended that obesity-prevention efforts begin early in life.

How can we reduce the amount of fat our children carry? Take soft drinks out of your diet and replace with water. Water is crucial to balanced nutrition and transports food particles. Our blood is 90% water and blood requires water to stay fluid so it can create nutrients. Eat healthy, and clean out your fridge and cupboards to get rid of unhealthy nibbles and foods. Eat uncooked foods with no added sugar, salt and additives and don’t eat when you are feeling down. To do so changes the chemical components of food and causes hyper-acidity in your stomach. That could clarify why there is such a high incidence of gastric reflux disease in our country. Finally, start a regular exercise program for 30 mins a day. Exercise raises heart rate, reduces blood pressure, helps muscle tone, and slows down aging.

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