Monday, September 24, 2012

Giving Kids the Gift of Health

This is a picture of your daughter, your niece, or you grand-daughter's first trip to see the ocean. When you see a picture of her the first thoughts you have are:
Beautiful, fearless, kind, spunky
She may not even know how amazing she is, but we as the ((parent, family, or friend)) try to let her know every chance we get.
The thoughts that are furthest from our mind when we see our little love?
Diabetes, High cholesterol, Overweight, Obesity
We would never inflict these kinds of words on the young people we love...or would we?
In the 1970's only 5% of US children were overweight or obese. NOW over 30% of US children are overweight or obese
When it comes to a child that is heavy we tend to think, "they'll grow out of it." However, 77% of people who are obese as children remain obese. Whereas only 7% of children with a healthy weight go on to be obese. About half of obese teenage girls become SEVERELY OBESE by the age of 30.
Weight is a sensitive topic for all of us, but children are especially sensitive. They may have already been teased about their size or have low self-esteem about how they look. For many of us, the last thing that we want to do is open up a dialogue that we feel may hurt their feelings. After all we are trying to instill self-worth in them...
However, a child who is overweight or obese has significant increase in their risk factors for diseases such as Heart disease, Type 2 Diabetes, and Cancer. As well as things like high cholesterol, high blood pressure, sleep apnea, and asthma. I don't mean their risk is just increased down the road when they are an adult. Their risk is also increased for developing a lifelong disease as a child.

We now know that overweight/obese children are already starting to develop the symptoms of heart disease as children. Kids as young as 5-10 can start developing fatty streaks on their aorta.
What used to be called "adult onset diabetes" was something we mostly saw in overweight, unhealthy adults. Now we are just referring to it as "type 2 diabetes," because it no longer has to do with age. We are seeing many, many overweight/obese children develop this PREVENTABLE disease because of their weight. Some health expert surmise that some of these children could be on dialysis as early as their 30's!!!
((checking her blood sugar))

I know it is hard to think of the "heavy" child we love as sick. They are so full of life and energy. To have them labeled "overweight" or "obese" doesn't seem right. But if the child you love is carrying too much weight, they are either sick or going to be sick.

Only 10% of parents seek medical help for their obese child.
We want the kids we love to be healthy, happy, and successful now and as adults. They depend on us. Their health is a product of the environment that we create for them.

If your child needs help achieving a healthy weight do it sooner rather than later. It would be very helpful to have the expertise of a registered dietitian to guide the efforts. It is easier to reach a goal when you know what it is and the most effective way to get there.

You can find these facts and more at this website:
 This is a super-interesting documentary. :)

**I really don't want for this to sound harsh or judgy. I have just been thinking about what I want for the sweet, marvelous, creative, adorable kids in my life. I want them to be healthy, and I know ya'll do too.**

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