Consider this scenario: We’re looking twenty or thirty years into the future. Millions of today’s children are young adults suffering from the devastating effects of diabetes, heart disease, stroke, obesity and serious self-esteem issues. Their medical bills alone have got to be in the billions or even trillions of dollars. Why? Because of the effects from their childhood diet and the eating and lifestyle habits established when they were kids.
So, who’s responsible? They blame their parents. They’re so angry that they all bond together at their group therapy sessions and decide to press class action lawsuits against the ones that got them into this mess – the parents. At least the settlement might cover some of their medical costs. And, guess what. The judge (who’s one of those children) rules in their favor!
Am I joking? No. Although it might sound funny, it’s deadly serious. This wouldn’t be the first time young adults blamed their parents for their problems. And somebody’s got to take responsibility for the coming health crisis. You better believe it won’t be Uncle Sam or the fast food industry.
A recent study, published in the “Journal of the American Dietetic Association,” showed that many of today’s babies and toddlers are eating the same terrible diet as the average unhealthy teenager. This atrocious diet consists of soft drinks, Big Macs, fries, potato chips, cheese curls, cookies, candy and other junk food.
Tufts University School of Medicine researchers found that up to one third of the children surveyed didn’t eat a single healthy vegetable or even one piece of fruit on any given day. Of those who did eat vegetables, they were usually French fries. (Are French fries really a vegetable?)
Soft drinks, which are a major cause of adult obesity with all its many health problems, were even being served in baby bottles to infants. And you better believe these children weren’t getting much exercise sitting on the couch all day watching TV.
It’s no wonder that over one quarter of preschoolers are overweight or obese – and the percentage is increasing at a rapid rate. Plus, since food preferences are usually established between the ages of two and three, these statistics will only get much worse as the kids grow older. 80% of heart disease and 90% of diabetes can be linked to an unhealthy diet and lifestyle habits, so today’s children are on a very dangerous course.
What can we, as parents, do about it? Every one of us has the opportunity to dramatically affect our children’s life-long approach to diet and exercise. We can start by being good role models ourselves – eating better and exercising regularly. We also have the power to set up positive guidelines and good eating habits for our children’s future health and well being.
Who knows? Twenty or thirty years from now, when our kids have grown up to be strong, smart, healthy, wealthy and fit, maybe they’ll greatly appreciate all the good habits we helped them establish in their childhood. I don’t know about you, but I’d much rather have love and appreciation for the job I did raising my children than blame and resentment – or, heaven forbid, a lawsuit!
About the Author
Michael Byrd has over 18 years of education and experience in the fields of physical therapy, health, fitness and nutrition. His pursuit of wellness has led him to research fish oil health benefits as well as other natural whole foods that will help you to look younger, feel better and stay healthy. You ca get your Free CD by visiting http://www.omega-3.us.
Who’s Responsible for Your Child’s Health?