Childhood Obesity

September 5, 2010
By

2010/07/31
Published

Complacency, ignorance and busy lifestyles all contribute to the growing trend of overweight children in our society. This article is designed to enlighten and empower you as caretakers to begin to take steps to change the course of health and longevity for our future generations.

It was a bold statement when the American Medical Associated published papers nearly two years ago stating that our generation, this generation, would be the first generation to begin to experience parents outliving their children! The reason, childhood obesity creates medical conditions that previously only plagued adults in their middle years. Conditions such as hypertension, osteoarthritis, arthritis, chronic fatigue, fibromyalgia, diabetes, stroke, and heart attacks speak loudly of the dangers of childhood obesity.

On February 9, 2010 USA Today published an article about childhood obesity prevention. It stated that our First Lady, Michelle Obama has announced her quest to eliminate childhood obesity in one generation. Most of us parents can relate to her story. USA Today reports:

Her daughters were 6 and 9, and Michelle Obama was like any other working mom — struggling to juggle office hours, school pick-ups and mealtimes. By the end of the day, she was often too tired to make dinner, so she did what was easy: She ordered takeout or went to the drive-through. She thought the girls were eating reasonably well — until her pediatrician in Chicago told her he didn’t like the weight fluctuations he was seeing. “I was shocked because my kids looked perfectly fine to me,” Obama says. “But I had a wake-up call.” Like many parents, however, “I didn’t know what to do.” Today, the self-described “mom in chief” is launching Let’s Move, a campaign to help other parents deal with a national health crisis she describes in epic terms.

If our First Lady was moved into action by the health changes her pediatrician saw in her “apparently healthy looking” kids, then can you imagine the health changes going on in a child that actually looks obese!

It’s a fact that American is getting fatter, and is fatter than it was a generation ago. Fast food and sodas are hugely to blame as they were not a common feature in one’s lifestyle one generation ago. Television and computer games also did not exist a generation ago such that they now become a number one babysitting feature in our homes. Childhood abductions cause parents to keep children indoors. This is a sad commentary on our modern society as only a generation ago, children played freely outside and neighbors watched out for the neighborhood children.

With the increased mobility of society, families do not stay put as they use to and now neighbors hardly know each other, yet alone watch out for each other’s children. Therefore, in one generation, multiple economic, technological and cultural factors have converged to isolate and make our children more sedentary and choose “fast” “processed” food for convenience over long term health consequences. However, realizing these factors, we do not have to be victims of technology, or economics or our fast paced culture.

Where there is an obese child there is an obese parent and the parent may not even realize it. The first step is to wake up to your own reality and take stock as a parent on your own health and lifestyle habits as they teach and impact those of your family especially if you shop and cook for your children. Part one here will focus on you as a parent.

How Much Overweight Do I Need to Be to Affect My Child’s Health?

Overweight parents through their lifestyle can easily cause their children to become obese. First you must become knowledgeable about what lifestyle factors contribute to obesity in yourself before you can understand how it could affect a growing child.

An Index For Obesity:

The Body Mass Index gives a fairly accurate measurement of one’s weight relative to the ideal. Men, women and children all have different ranges of                                                      

BMI. The BMI is used to determine obesity ranges. Your BMI is calculated by taking your weight in pounds and dividing it by your height in inches.

The American Council on Exercise has determined a BMI index for men and women as follows:

Classification Women % fat Men % fat
Average 25-31 % 18-25%
Obese 32%+ 25%+
Fit 21-24% 14-17%
Athletic 14-20% 6-13%
BMI Height (in)
58 59 60 61 62 63 64 65 66 67 68 69 70 71 72 73 74 75 76
Wgt. (lbs) 4’10” 4’11” 5’0″ 5’1″ 5’2″ 5’3″ 5’4″ 5’5″ 5’6″ 5’7″ 5’8″ 5’9″ 5’10” 5’11” 6’0″ 6’1′ 6’2″ 6’3′ 6’4′
100 21 20 20 19 18 18 17 17 16 16 15 15 14 14 14 13 13 13 12
105 22 21 21 20 19 19 18 18 17 16 16 16 15 15 14 14 14 13 13
110 23 22 22 21 20 20 19 18 18 17 17 16 16 15 15 15 14 14 13
115 24 23 23 22 21 20 20 19 19 18 18 17 17 16 16 15 15 14 14
120 25 24 23 23 22 21 21 20 19 19 18 18 17 17 16 16 15 15 15
125 26 25 24 24 23 22 22 21 20 20 19 18 18 17 17 17 16 16 15
130 27 26 25 25 24 23 22 22 21 20 20 19 19 18 18 17 17 16 16
135 28 27 26 26 25 24 23 23 22 21 21 20 19 19 18 18 17 17 16
140 29 28 27 27 26 25 24 23 23 22 21 21 20 20 19 19 18 18 17
145 30 29 28 27 27 26 25 24 23 23 22 21 21 20 20 19 19 18 18
150 31 30 29 28 27 27 26 25 24 24 23 22 22 21 20 20 19 19 18
155 32 31 30 29 28 28 27 26 25 24 24 23 22 22 21 20 20 19 19
160 34 32 31 30 29 28 28 27 26 25 24 24 23 22 22 21 21 20 20
165 35 33 32 31 30 29 28 28 27 26 25 24 24 23 22 22 21 21 20
170 36 34 33 32 31 30 29 28 27 27 26 25 24 24 23 22 22 21 21
175 37 35 34 33 32 31 30 29 28 27 27 26 25 24 24 23 23 22 21
180 38 36 35 34 33 32 31 30 29 28 27 27 26 25 24 24 23 23 22
185 39 37 36 35 34 33 32 31 30 29 28 27 27 26 25 24 24 23 23
190 40 38 37 36 35 34 33 32 31 30 29 28 27 27 26 25 24 24 23
195 41 39 38 37 36 35 34 33 32 31 30 29 28 27 27 26 25 24 24
200 42 40 39 38 37 36 34 33 32 31 30 30 29 28 27 26 26 25 24
205 43 41 40 39 38 36 35 34 33 32 31 30 29 29 28 27 26 26 25
210 44 43 41 40 38 37 36 35 34 33 32 31 30 29 29 28 27 26 26
215 45 44 42 41 39 38 37 36 35 34 33 32 31 30 29 28 28 27 26
220 46 45 43 42 40 39 38 37 36 35 34 33 32 31 30 29 28 28 27
225 47 46 44 43 41 40 39 38 36 35 34 33 32 31 31 30 29 28 27
230 48 47 45 44 42 41 40 38 37 36 35 34 33 32 31 30 30 29 28
235 49 48 46 44 43 42 40 39 38 37 36 35 34 33 32 31 30 29 29
240 50 49 47 45 44 43 41 40 39 38 37 36 35 34 33 32 31 30 29
245 51 50 48 46 45 43 42 41 40 38 37 36 35 34 33 32 32 31 30
250 52 51 49 47 46 44 43 42 40 39 38 37 36 35 34 33 32 31 30
255 53 52 50 48 47 45 44 43 41 40 39 38 37 36 35 34 33 32 31
260 54 53 51 49 48 46 45 43 42 41 40 38 37 36 35 34 33 33 32
265 56 54 52 50 49 47 46 44 43 42 40 39 38 37 36 35 34 33 32
270 57 55 53 51 49 48 46 45 44 42 41 40 39 38 37 36 35 34 33
275 58 56 54 52 50 49                          

                                                 

       

Take a few minutes to calculate your BMI:

Weight:______ Height in inches:______  My BMI:______

Circle one, I am: Average, Obese, Fit, Athletic

My BMI goal is: _________

Now that you know what your BMI is, you will know whether a doctor would consider you as falling into the obesity category. This is one index doctors use to evaluate patients for obesity. Now let’s look at the contributing factors as there is generally not one cause alone.

Complacency:

Complacency takes many forms and it’s based upon assumptions. How many of these assumptions apply to you?

a)     I’ve been overweight all my life

b)    I’ve tried to loose weight but can’t keep it off so I can’ expect my kids to either

c)     Everyone in my family is heavy set

d)    I don’t have time to exercise, that’s why I’ve gained weight

e)     I have too much stress

f)      My hormones are off

g)     I’ve never lost the pregnancy weight

h)     I can’t afford “wholesome” food

i)       I don’t have time to cook meals from scratch

j)       My kids are too picky about what they eat

k)     My kids seem healthy

l)       Kids will outgrow the fat

A lifetime of weight challenges, or coming from a family of obese individuals does not mean that you are victim of your genes or hormones. Medicine is learning more each year about our metabolic and hormonal differences and the ways to balance them beginning with ways to combat insulin resistance that cause Syndrome X, often a precursor to diabetes.

Inactivity alone will not lead to the degree of obesity that leads one’s children into obesity. Diet plays a huge part. Busy parents can make better grocery store decisions that allow for healthy meals and snacking for the whole family without having to give their children processed foods or slave in the kitchen for hours.

It is cheaper to eat junk food and fast food. However, this food is not only devoid of nutritional value but contains saturated fats, trans fats, pesticides, herbicides, food additives and other carcinogens that rob bodies of nutrition in an effort to combat and detoxify these substances and negatively impacts our immune and metabolic systems leading to early disease. You can be obese and malnourished; it’s very common!

The thought that kids outgrow the baby fat or fat in general is false. Infantile obesity causes the body to make more fat cells than normal weight babies and sets them up for metabolic disorders and childhood obesity. Furthermore, obesity research has found that when people do loose weight and loose fat mass, they don’t loose the number of fat cells. Those fat cells shrink in volume. Regaining fat mass is all to easy to do from retention of intracellular toxicity and fat storage.

Lifestyle habits that create fat storage in childhood are more difficult to overcome in adolescence and adulthood because they are so ingrained. Therefore, outgrowing one’s baby fat is impossible unless one makes a deliberate change in their lifestyle habits that cause obesity.

My kids are healthy so why should I worry? Obesity is a slow and chronic degenerative mechanism of disease. It takes time for obesity to do the following:

1)     cause our cells be become resistant to sugars (insulin resistance)

2)     cause our fat cells to begin to secrete hormones that increase food cravings and affect our blood sugar regulation

3)     cause increased cholesterol and plaque formation in our circulation

4)     cause fatigue

5)     cause increased toxic accumulation

6)     cause excessive estrogen storage, even in boys!

7)     cause Alzheimer’s at an early age

8)     cause developmental delay and brain processing disorders

9)     cause adult onset diabetes at an early age

10) cause emotional issues related to body image and self worth

11) cause sleep disorders including sleep apnea

12) cause fatty liver

13) cause fatty tumors, cancers

All of the above are occurring in the youth when they use to occur only in middle-aged adults!

Where does one begin to determine how and where to make the most effective changes for our children to steer them away from chronic childhood obesity. If you are like most busy parents the thought of it can be overwhelming. You don’t have time to read a lot of books and figure out by trial and error what you need to do help your child loose that fat, but you want to make changes that will effectively help your child redirect their path toward loosing the weight and living a longer healthier life.

Immune Matrix Institute, a non-profit educational organization has implemented a twelve-week online course called REVERSING CHILDHOOD OBESITY. This course was designed for the busy parent. It is administered in one lesson plan, home assessment test and project per week that can be done by the entire family, especially for those home schooling parents in a way that is fun and educational for the children involved. Unless we also teach our youth, they will not value the changes you make in your home. This course will allow you to pass on a living legacy of healthy habits that will benefit them for a lifetime. The cost is $25 a week and is tax-deductible through this non-profit, and includes personalized online coaching through the forum and is one of the most effective ways to implement gradual changes that educate and improve the health of your child and entire family. Don’t delay, get started today.

Please note:
Information on this site is provided for informational purposes only and is not intended as a substitute for the advice provided by your physician or other healthcare professional. You should not use the information on this site for diagnosing or treating a health problem or disease, or prescribing any medication or other treatment.

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Anna Manayan

Anna Manayan