Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Poor Nutrition Results in Overweight Children

I am especially concerned for our youth who are dependent on their caretakers for general health needs. Children must be given nutritious food to meet their growing needs. Fast food and convenience foods that are consumed on a regular basis do not provide all of the essential vitamins and minerals that growing bodies need. When poor nutrition is combined with low physical activity levels, the result is overweight children. Not only are these children overweight, they are showing symptoms of chronic disease once seen primarily in adults. More and more children are being diagnosed with type II diabetes. Our children are also showing symptoms of brittle bones. This is mainly because children are drinking less milk and participating in very few exercises that are weight bearing. Weight bearing exercises would be jumping rope, climbing trees, doing pull-ups, and simply chasing each other. Many statisticians feel that the current generation may be the first in a very long time to have a shorter lifespan than their parents. As a result of these staggering statistics we are being bombarded with news articles, specials on television and books addressing the problem of being overweight. It seems that children are not the only overweight segment of our population. Over 60% of North Carolinians are either overweight or obese. This is the popular buzzword –obesity. Most of us tend to associate obesity with morbid obesity, extreme overweight. Television reality shows are exploiting our concern with obesity. We can see everything from the Biggest Losers to a sitcom featuring an overweight policeman and his wife. This is not a totally new trend. Rose Ann and her husband were the average overweight American middle class couple years ago. It is about time that we wake up and face the dangers of being overweight. Health issues such as high blood pressure and diabetes are known to be associated with excessive weight. Add to that the fact that many insurance companies are now increasing premiums to the health insurance policy if the policyholder is overweight.
Another health risk that may make your premium increase is if you use tobacco products. It is a shame that our general population needs the insurance companies to force us to take responsibility for our own health.
Take a long hard look at yourself and your family. Answer these few questions to determine whether your family needs to make some changes!
1. Are all family members in the healthy weight range according to reliable weight charts?
2. Do all family members get regular physical exercise appropriate for their age? (Children need at least an hour each day)
3. Does the family eat meals at home at least five out of the seven days?