It is a sad, but true fact that our children are getting sicker. Statistics show that our children may not outlive us due to the rising health conditions plaguing our children. The reasons that influence our children’s health are overconsumption and undernutrition, environmental toxicities, psychological stress, overuse of antibiotics, antacid medications, mood regulators and other medications, and deficient immune systems. It is an important wake-up call that the majority of patients that have been diagnosed with COVID have lifestyle related diseases such as obesity, diabetes, high blood pressure, and chronic lung disease.
Research published in the International Journal of Obesity, compared national obesity rates for children and adults born between 1926 and 2005. They found that obesity rates have doubled among adults and tripled among U.S. children. Additionally, they determined that 30% of people born between 1966 and 1985 were obese in their 20s. This was not achieved previously by their parents until they reached their 30s and their grandparents reached their 40s. This means that we are gaining more weight and carrying extra pounds from longer periods of time. This suggests that obesity-related disease like diabetes and heart disease will impact one’s quality of life and life expectancy earlier than before. Being idle has created a childhood obesity problem. The Centers of Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) stated, 70% of obese children have at least one cardiovascular risk factor and 39% have two or more risk factors. Obesity is a preventable disease and we must start teaching and helping our children. It is our responsibility!
What can we do to help?
- Get them active. Aim for at least 20 minutes of aerobic exercise a day, of course more is better. Twenty minutes every day is enough to boost macrophage activity. These are important int neutralizing viruses and bacteria. Let children play, use their imagination, and be bored. Boredom can spawn creativity. There is so much to explore outdoors and activities to do indoors that doesn’t break the bank.
- Improve their sleep. Less than 7 hours of sleep can reduce our white blood cells’ ability to fight infection. Not to mention the increase in behaviors, irritability and decreased focus.
- Eat the rainbow. Eating balanced nutrition ensures kids are getting adequate vitamin A, C, B vitamins, zinc, and minerals such as calcium and magnesium that are important to grow and thrive. Supplementation of vitamin D is important as the primary source is from the sun. Not all vitamins are created equal and the proper form is important. For example, B vitamins should be methylated to achieve optimal absorption.
Always start with small changes. Slow is fast and will create life long benefits for your children. We are here at Venture to help the entire family move better and feel better!
–Melanie Dockter DC CACCP
- Lee, J. International Journal of Obesity, April 12, 2010; vol 34. News release, University of Michigan.
- Song, Elisa, MD – Healthy Kids Happy Kids