Youth Obesity And Its Cure
There are keys for unlocking obesity and its cure.
Curing one problem will save curing many more expensive ones later on.
I watched a Dr. Amen last night on PBS doing a fundraiser on the subject of dealing properly with the health of our brains, and how doing so can make your health and your energy levels so much better. There is merit, of course, in what he was teaching.
Sadly the audience seemed to totally consist of adults 40-to-better years old. That was not surprising, for the saying goes "Too soon old; too late smart."
Health is a growing concern as we age, and a Laotian king said that "No one needs to grow old, but if you don't want to grow old you have to be a good steward of your body."
Frankly, Americans have been doing a lousy job of stewardship when it comes to our bodies.
I am one of those "40-to-better years old" Americans. I have spent much of my life post-childhood (when my parents made sure I had a daily vitamin and healthy foods) eating at least as much for pleasure as for nourishment. I suspect I am not alone.
Some fat, some sugar, even without alcohol, caffeine, and tobacco, was part of my daily consumption, and by the time I was dealing with heart problems and a gallstone it was definitely time for a change.
So far I have shed 35 pounds with no real effort. That took my Body Mass Index (BMI) from 29.4 down to 25.1. Another 5 pounds will get me where I want to be. The healthy BMI for an adult (male or female) is 18.5 to 24.9. After the next 5 pounds my BMI will be 24.4. In the process my cholesterol will have reached a healthy range, and I suspect my brain will be healthier, too, with a lowered risk of dementia. My heart won't have to work so hard, and I haven't had a problem with the gallbladder either.
As adults, we set the example for our youth. While they live with us growing up, we have some say as to what foods we buy, serve, and snack on. When we go out to eat with them, we can set a good example as to what we order, and how big the portions are that we ask for, and we can discourage indulging in sweets and their empty calories.
There are other steps we can take as we raise healthy children. We can reduce stress in the home and teach each child how to deal with stress.
We can make sure they get adequate, quality sleep and hydrate properly with enough water each day.
We can be a stickler for using sunscreen when outdoors for extended periods of time and for wearing caps or hats, too.
And we can do all this matter-of-factly without turning into prison wardens.
On the next several shopping trips to the store, think about what is going into the family shopping cart, and as Dr. Amen suggests, ask yourself the question "Then what?" Some things are better left at the store which has rows and rows of sugary items and so many items with saturated fats (not all of them meats and deli items).
There will be an added bonus. Your grocery bill will show a sharp drop which will more than compensate for the increased price of some farm and dairy products, fruits, and healthy snacks.
Energy drops when blood sugar levels drop. Blood sugar levels drop when we are hungry. The answer to having energy is to have four to six healthy meals each day, rather than two to three feasts, remembering that Benjamin Franklin correctly observed that "Overeating dulls the mind."
Calculate the BMI for everyone in your household. Then mutually resolve to encourage each other to take family health seriously and get those BMI figures into the healthy range that can ensure a healthier, longer, happier life going forward.
It can be done. I know. I'm doing it.
© 2012 Demas W. Jasper All rights reserved.
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