Dr. Philip A. Pappas, Ph.D
A new study by Ohio State University and Temple University, found that 1 in 5 four year olds is obese. This amounts to half a million 4 year olds in the United States, who may face serious health problems as adults. America needs the young to do the work of the nation. They are the future labor force and the tax payers of the next generation. We need the young to be the soldiers for the wars we fight. So what is a parent to do? A childs weight is most easily controlled with activity. Children need to be active to grow up healthy and strong and what they eat is extremely important.
Why is exercise and nutrition important for a child’s health and why should parents be concerned about their child’s weight?
The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) recently stated that the number one health challenge in America is excess weight and obesity. Our children have the greatest increases in obesity and excess weight in the history of man. The CDC attributes this to a lack of activity and poor diet. This could easily be reversed by regular exercise and proper nutrition. An overweight child will often become a chronically ill adult.
In what way does excess weight affect children?
The National Institute of Health (NIH) suggests that today’s children face a five fold increase in Type II diabetes compared to their parents. They also suggest that in twenty-five years 50% of the adult population will develop heart disease. These increases will be due almost entirely to excess weight and obesity. Recent surveys have found that men and women today on average, weigh twenty-five pounds more than individuals in the 60’s. As terrible as heart disease and diabetes are, the news gets worse. Today’s overweight children will face an ever increasing number of chronic illnesses their ancestors avoided. As adults they may develop osteoarthritis of the knees, bad backs and degenerative disc disease, mood swings and depression, reflux disease, digestive problems, stroke, osteoporosis, hypertension, hyperlipidemia, high risk of infection, and many types of cancer.
What is the relationship between cancer and body fat?
The fat on our bodies produces the hormone estrogen. Cancer cells grow faster in the presence of estrogen. Excess body fat provides a constant supply of elevated estrogen increasing the risk of cancer for males and females. Males are at significant risk of prostate cancer from elevated estrogen and not surprisingly the average age of new prostate cancers has been decreasing. A twenty year old with prostate cancer was rare in the 60’s and now is not that uncommon. The increase in weight corresponds with the increased incedents of breast and other female cancers in the America.
What can a parent do?
Inactivity and poor nutrition are the norm for most children today. Children watch too much television. They play video games and eat snack foods. Our grandparents and great grandparents were more muscular, more fit, and weighed much less than we do. It was necessary for them to work hard every day. They ate fresh whole foods, not processed junk food, which helped to normalize their weight. Today we have power tools, home entertainment centers, and more junk food than we can eat. Today’s parents are the least knowledgeable generation about food in the past 100 years and the most out of shape. Most parents today do not know the difference between fat, protein, and carbohydrates, let alone the difference between simple and complex carbohydrates. This is why our children are at such high risk of debilitating illness. It would be extremely important to learn about good nutrition and increase your child’s activity level. Only exercise and proper nutrition can prevent the debilitating illnesses associated with obesity and excess body fat. Your child’s future may depend on it.
Dr. Pappas is a certified nutritionist with 20 years of experience in natural health. He also has 25 years of experience in the health care industry. To learn more about Dr. Pappas and Earth Foods his Natural Food Store in Bucks County, PA:
Please visit his site at: http://www.earthfoods.us
or call 1-215-794-5311
or email him at email@example.com
Earth Foods is more than your regular natural food store, they offer a wide range of products and services not found in most natural and health food stores.