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Childhood obesity and diabetes can be arrested with parental guidance

The days when adolescent boys and girls played hopscotch, jumping jacks and dodge ball are over.

 
 Dr. Timothy Moore

The days when adolescent boys and girls played hopscotch, jumping jacks and dodge ball are over. Those were the days when boys and girls were much more energetic, spirited and filled with zest. But the adolescent years of children today are just the opposite. They’re inundated with television, video games, the Internet, social media, texting, MP3 players, and any number of other electronic gadgets.

What happened to the child who had vim, vigor and the agility of a gazelle? Modern technology is great and even necessary in this fast pace society, but it has reduced our children to a zombie-like state where they are devoid of interpersonal skills and possess far less physical dexterity in order to stay fit and healthy. Many of them are obese and moving expeditiously into an unhealthy adulthood.

Children today are living a sedentary lifestyle. There seems to be little time for physical activity in the schools and even at home. Time brings about a change, but it’s a change that could prove detrimental if each of us doesn’t take into account the need to eat healthy and exercise. Obesity is a huge problem for adolescents. One out of three children are obese or overweight, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

Sometimes parents can be a little sensitive if they’re asked about their child’s weight problem. If anyone should be blamed for the child’s weight problems, it should be the parents. Why would you allow your child to become a glutton? Exercise some control. Take charge. Do you or your child purchase groceries for the home or do you or your child bring home the paycheck?

If you’re putting food on the table, there is no reason for your 10-year-old boy or girl to weigh 250 pounds. It’s not healthy and it’s not the child’s fault. Here’s a little tidbit from the CDC: 1 in 3 children born in the U.S. in 2000 will go on to develop type II diabetes at some point in their lives, and 1 of 2 African-American children will develop diabetes. Children as young as seven are diabetic and more are prone to the disease.

Obesity has become a leading factor in the new diabetic epidemic. Some lifestyle changes must be undertaken to prevent future generations from growing up dependent on some form of medication just to function. If nothing is done about obesity, it could lead to diabetes, high blood pressure, high cholesterol levels and depression.

Change has to start in the home if obesity and diabetes are completely arrested. But if you’re not preparing meals that are healthy, you shouldn’t expect for your children to be healthy. They’ll follow your footsteps, wherever you lead them.

Have you ever wondered why there are no health food stores in the inner city neighborhoods? It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to figure out that children will buy and eat as much junk food as they can consume. But then there’s a reckoning: obesity and diabetes.

There is a solution, of course – that is if we set the example for our children by doing some form of physical activity ourselves. Since there is so much red tape and political interference when it comes to physical education in school, you might want to start at home working with your child to keep him or her physically fit.

Michelle Obama is leading the charge in physical fitness and steering the nation’s children toward a nutritious diet of fruit and vegetables. Two years ago, the first lady and a group of schoolchildren planted vegetables in the White House garden. She continues to advocate for their good health.

We must remember that the children today are our future leaders, and it would be awfully sad to see them become obese, diabetic and dependent on drugs. Is it their destiny to grapple with obesity or diabetes? I don’t think so. But I do know that obesity and diabetes can be avoided.

If you set a good example as a parent by eating healthy and exercise, you’ll be surprised when your child follows your footsteps. You’ll also be surprised if they follow you down the wrong path. So eat healthy, exercise and teach your child to do the same.

(Dr. Timothy Moore teaches nutrition, heart disease and diabetes reversal through a plant-based lifestyle. He is a professional speaker, wellness coach and personal plant-based chef. He can be reached by email at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or visit him on the Web sites at www.cheftimothymoore.com or www.twitter.com/cheftimmoore.)

 

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