(obesity and diabetes – the not so silent epidemics)
Did you know that Missouri has the13th Highest Percent of Obese Adults (28.1%) and 23rd Highest Percent of Obese and Overweight Children (31.0%) in the U.S. according to a report by Trust for America?s Health (TFAH) and the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (RWJF), Washington DC, July 2009.
Childhood obesity has been linked to increased risks of a variety of chronic progressive, incurable conditions, including diabetes, hypertension, arthritis and heart disease, blindness, kidney failure and limb loss.
The same report stated that ?reversing the childhood obesity epidemic is a critical ingredient for delivering a healthier population . . . If we can prevent the current generation of young people from developing the serious and costly chronic conditions related to obesity, we can not only improve health and quality of life, but we can also save billions of dollars and make our health care systems more efficient and sustainable.?
We adults are setting up some very serious illnesses in the very children we claim to love. Between what we feed them at home and school we are starting our children down the road to having irreversible conditions for the rest of their lives. Missouri does not have strict standards for school lunches, breakfasts and snacks and has no standards for foods sold a la carte, in vending machines, in school stores or bake sales. Kids get junk food at school and again at home preferring sugary processed foods to good nutrition. We adults provide the avenues for poor dietary choices in our children regularly and routinely. Our children are becoming obese because we do not say no to junk food and we don?t strongly encourage good dietary habits.
85% of children diagnosed with type 2 diabetes are obese. Childhood obesity is causing Type 2 diabetes, a disease related primarily to poor dietary choices to grow in epidemic proportions among our children.
Childhood diabetes is now so rampant in the United States that the American Diabetes Association suggests 1) children 10 or older, 2) any child whose weight is more than 85th percentile or 3) any child whose weight is greater than 120% of their ideal weight for height should be screened for diabetes.
There is no cure for diabetes. The only treatment is to try to keep blood sugar/glycosylated hemoglobin as normal as possible and try to prevent health complications. Exercise, meal planning, monitoring of blood sugar and medication are the only available options for treatment. Diabetes control without the use of
medications is successful for less than 10% of adults with type 2 diabetes over the long term. We don?t know how well diet alone would work in children. Studies do indicate that Type 2 diabetes is progressive. This means that over time, control of blood sugar will be more difficult, requiring more use of oral medication(s) and/or insulin therapy.
Planning nutritious meals and snacks before a child is diagnosed with an incurable disease associated with poor dietary choices should be our priority as parents.
How do you help prevent the children in your life from becoming part of these statistics?
Remove the soda ? it is diabetes in a bottle and has been linked to early onset osteoporosis, hyperactivity, conduct issues, panic, sleeplessness and other mental health difficulties in teenagers. Drinking one or more sodas a day increases the risk of obesity by 27% which increases the risk of diabetes. Studies suggest that since 1967 there has been a 45 to 54% increase in childhood and teenage type 2 diabetes. At least one soda is consumed daily by 41% of children and 62% of teens. One can of soda a day adds up to 15 pounds of weight a year. Substitute plain water or unsweetened milk.
Offer healthy food choices ? a fruit or vegetable snack instead of a carbohydrate loaded sugar snack. If the unhealthy food choices are eliminated from the home, a child will do better with fruit or vegetable snack choices.
Talk to your children?s school about food choices available at school or have your child pack a healthy lunch. Why should they have chocolate milk instead of plain milk? Why are pancakes or French toast sticks with syrup showing up as lunch instead of a lean protein choice with vegetables/fruit? Where are the fruits and vegetables advocated by our food pyramid? Get involved. Visit www.mypyramid.gov to find a number of educational tools to help fit a nutritional plan to your child.
Our doctors offer nutritional guidance, exercise counseling, acupuncture for weight loss, and we see patients of all ages. Contact our office at (636)928-5588 or www.crosbychiropractic.com for a consultation for you or your child today!
Crosby Chiropractic Centre