What would you say is the biggest problem facing our children today? It is heartbreaking to know that childhood obesity is the most common nutritional disorder as well as a growing global epidemic in developed countries. It is also considered to be the underlying factor causing a variety of chronic illnesses in the Western World.
In the United States, childhood obesity is growing at a dangerous pace; one out of three kids is considered overweight or obese. Recognizing this problem and attempting to tackle it should be a priority as health impact of obesity is staggering, and can cause a wide spectrum of illnesses including but not limited to depression, low self esteem, diabetes, cardiovascular problems, high cholesterol, hypertension, sleep apnea etc…
Childhood obesity becomes important because its likelihood to persist in adulthood is very high and these children become victims of disorders linked to obesity as they grow older. Interactions between genetic, biological, psychological, sociocultural and environmental factors are typically blamed for childhood obesity yet early interventions or preventative educational methods are rarely discussed.
‘Best for Baby, Best for Mom’:
There are enormous amounts of research done on the advantages of breastfeeding, one of which is its ability to decrease the chances of obesity in children. Increasing the length of breastfeeding time plays an important role in lowering the risk of childhood and adolescence obesity. One of many benefits of breastfeeding is that babies have an internal and innate ability to control their intake and thus will stop when no longer hungry.
‘Motion is Life’:
Many of our kids lack enough physical activity to warrant the amount of caloric intake they are consuming. Replacing children’s physical activity with video games, computer, and television contributes to this shift of inactivity in today’s world. Encourage kids to be physically active every day. If you eat at home together with your kids and watch TV a few times a week encourage your family and the children to reduce TV/computer time, and go for a walk or bike ride instead and have more home cooked meals available.
‘You Are What You Eat’:
Start good habits early. Offer your children a wide variety of healthy foods, to shape up their food preferences as well as educating them on what is healthy and natural. Let them be involved with healthy food choices while packing your lunch. Unfortunately the days of family meals together, as well as healthy portions of vegetables and fruits are gone, and replaced with fast food, high caloric junk, high sugar, and lots of eating out.
Your parenting style is linked directly to your child’s mind and body health. Your main goal as parents or family practitioners should be to encourage healthy behaviors for the entire family, give your kids healthy options with good life style habits, natural food, and activities to promote potential development of obesity and its associated risks in your family.
About the Author
Dr. Nona Djavid is the founder and lead chiropractic physician at Wellness Choice Center, a state of the art chiropractic and wellness facility in Newport Beach, CA. Aside from providing cutting edge chiropractic care, Dr. Nona Djavid engages her patients in weekly workshops focusing on lifestyle changes, nutritional counseling, as well as natural and preventative care. A graduate from the University of California, Berkeley as well as Life Chiropractic College West, Dr. Nona Djavid focused on neurology as it relates to diseases in the body. Her research and study in college and today focuses mainly on preventative care, paying special attention to infants, children, and pregnant mothers. Dr. Nona Djavid is also the founder of WOW – Women of Wellness – an organization that empowers female health care professionals to build healthy caring relationships through education and integrated health and wellness services