Saturday, January 9, 2010

The Home Front

I had set aside an article regarding fighting childhood obesity on the front lines, meaning the home. It was an okay story, but it didn't really move me, so there isn't much to quote or even reference. That said, it did inspire a few thoughts.

Most importantly, if we want our children to be healthy, we must be mindful of their nutrition. An overweight child faces some challenges, and there are enough of those without adding extra. Not only does the weight itself pose problems, but the typical overnutrition that supports weight gain, also compromises performance, learning and social acceptance.

In order to better serve our children, we should better serve ourselves. It is as important to remove junk as it is to provide healthy food. If it is not there they will not eat it. That goes for both. If you want your children to be healthy and to care about their bodies, then you must do the same. It is a mandate for the entire household. Nor does it stop with food. Do you want active children? Be active.

We cannot afford to miss the boat on this. Overweight children end up with chronic diseases. Sure we have medications for that, but starting a 13 year old on a blood pressure medication is, oh I don't know, INSANE...... it is not the answer.

To reduce the disease impact, a child might lose weight, but to prevent the disease altogether, the parent might make obesity much less of a possibility. I have to say, it reminds me of a phrase I often voice in the tobacco wars, which is, "It is far easier to never smoke than it is to quit." And so, it IS easier to never get fat then it is to lose weight.

Perhaps it sounds offensive to say "fat" but it is what it is and it is not an aesthetic thing. Fatness, or obesity is a disease construct.

Go through your kitchen this weekend, or next. Make it a healthy one. Everything in moderation and more so some things than others, but don't expect your children to take care of their bodies if you are not willing to do the same. Make it a Family Affair - to Fair Well.

No comments: