Thursday, December 18, 2008

Childhood Obesity
Childhood Obesity is a buzz topic for many articles and health news. Over the last 30 years it is stated that obesity has more than tripled. Approximately 30% of children are now overweight and childhood diabetes has increased 10 fold in the last 20 years. In the Idaho Statesman December 17, 2008 story entitled, "One third of Idaho school children are a risk of being overweight," shows in a recent study with third graders that Idaho is not secluded from this concern. I also recently came across articles in Science Daily November 19, 2008 and The Journal of Law And Economics November 2008 via where it is stated that simple changes of banning food advertisements would reduce obesity by 20% in The United States. It is important to also look at the amount of time your child is watching television. Ninety percent of Americans under the age of 2 and 40% babies under 3 months watch TV regularly. The American Medical Pediatric Association recommends that children do not watch any TV before the age of 2. Increased television watching directly correlates with lower test scores, sleeping problems, increased risk of smoking, and obesity.

As a parent concerned about your child's health here are a few tips:

1. Limit or eliminate television exposure. This will allow children to have more time to play, read, and use their intellectual creativity. It will also reduce exposure to food ads.
2. Change your eating habits. Your eating habits are examples for the children. Make healthy dishes for mealtimes. Reduce processed and fast food consumption. Shop for foods along the perimeter of the store. The unhealthiest foods are in the isles. Eat local and organic foods whenever you can.
3. Create family physical activities. For example: hikes, bike rides, and playing outside. If I had to choose any electronic games, I would say that the Wii provides physical activity with animation that the entire family can enjoy.
4. Family gym memberships. The YMCA provides excellent availability for children to swim, play, and take classes on nutrition.
5. Eliminate soda and juice. Each daily soda increases your obesity by 60%.

Eating healthier and increasing exercise will reduce lifestyle diseases. It is also important to keep a healthy nervous system in the growing child. This is done through regular check-ups to your local chiropractor.

Resources: Idaho Statesman December 17, 2008
Science Daily November 19, 2008
The Journal of Law And Economics November 2008

P.S. After February 2009, The United States Congress has decided that phthalates will not be allowed in children's toys. Please look at any holiday or older toys that your children are in direct contact with. To be extra safe, avoid all plastic toys that include PVC's (poly vinyl chloride).