Thursday, June 17, 2010

Preventing Childhood Obesity: Tips for Parents

The food and beverage industry spends billions of dollars advertising high-calorie, low-nutrient food to young children in the United States. As a result of these powerful marketing schemes, millions of America's children, our most vulnerable,  are facing a lifetime of obesity and potentially fatal chronic diseases, including diabetes, high blood pressure and heart disease.

America's children deserve better. Every child deserves the chance to grow up to become healthy, happy and productive adults. But unfortunately, too many are being robbed of this chance.  In fact, the Institute of Medicine, an arm of the U. S. Centers for Disease Control (CDC), predicts that one in three children born in 2000 will develop diabetes at some point during their lifetime. This is an unacceptable fate to lay before our children.

So, what can you as a parent do to prevent this tragic future?

You can start by limiting the amount of soft drinks, hamburgers, nuggets and other high-calorie foods your child consumes. That means keeping them out of the home and shopping for more nutritious alternatives. Keep lots of water, fresh fruits, vegetables, nuts and seeds around to satisfy your child's hunger. Milk, cheese and yogurt are also healthy options.

Keep in mind that your child is looking to you for guidance. Take charge and refuse to let your child to be victimized by the profit-driven food industry. Your child will be better for it.

Copyright 2010 Dorene E. Carter, PhD, RD. All rights reserved. Copying or reprinting the information on this page without written permission of the author is strictly prohibited.

The information provided herein is for education and information services only and is not intended as a substitute for proper, personalized medical attention.