Wednesday, August 8, 2018

WELLNESS WEDNESDAYS: Obesity Matters for Parents

“Children learn what to eat at their parents’ table, and adults are eating more fast food, more convenience foods, and more unhealthfully than ever before in human history.  Overweight parents don’t just pass on the genes for obesity, but their eating habits as well.” 
                              -- Joel Fuhrman, M.D., from Disease-Proof Your Child

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Parents all over the country are reviewing school supply lists and buying backpacks, pencils, and binders.  It is a good time to plan how to be a good role model for your kids.  It turns out that educating parents is one of the best ways to develop role models with good behaviors that can lead to kids staying at a healthy weight. 

According to Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the prevalence of obesity was 39.8% and affected about 93.3 million of U.S. adults in 2015-2016.  That’s more than 1 in 3 adults who are at unhealthy weights and at risk for obesity-related diseases including diabetes, sleep apnea, bone and joint problems. 

While we shop for our kids’ school supply lists, we need to shop for healthy foods for our kitchen pantries.  Kids learn from watching their parents.  Are you skipping breakfast?  Drinking sodas?  Eating white bread and processed meats?  Maybe you need to attend my “Healthy Eating” class for parents! 

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We are the role models and our kids are sponges.  Pay attention to what you are teaching your kids by what you keep in your kitchen pantry and what you put on the dinner table.  If our kids are going to live longer than us, then we cannot sit by while they develop older adult diseases such as type 2 diabetes.  If we do nothing and allow them to become overweight and obese, then we are setting them up for a shorter lifespan than ours.
With love and gratitude,
Nancy Heinrich, MPH
Founder, Growing Healthy Kids, Inc.