I recently read in the NY Times that there is a huge concern with childhood obesity in USA and naturally by extension Canada. There is a plethora of young boys displaying gynocamastia (breast development). There are any number of factors that play into this problem including the presence of growth hormones, estrogens and other chemicals present in our eco system.
I am sure most people have seen the news reports on some school districts eliminating sugary drinks on the campuses. This is definitely a start to moving in the right direction however this is not the home run to overcome this burgeoning problem.
There are medical problems that can lead to obesity however it is my opinion that these are not the vast majority of cases that we see today. If you ask anyone born prior to 1970 to recall the obese children in their school they might recall …oh yes there was someone in the 7th grade.
In most schools today every classroom is touched by this dilemma and parents are at wits end trying to find out a solution to the problem.
I believe there are 4 basic Fundamentals to tackle this problem in an organic manner.
- Rest … ok this may sound contrary to what is being said but there are a huge number of internal processes that take place during sleep. Young people need more sleep than adults. Cells are constantly replacing themselves and much of this happens during sleep phase
- Nutrition … well here is a surprise. There is old saying- garbage in garbage out- and this directly applies to our eating habits. The fast food industry is being squeezed as they realize their products are not a healthy meal so they are introducing alternatives like salads but caveat emptor. If the dressing is a high sugar content the perceived healthy choice is not necessarily good for the body. Complex carbohydrates, like pastas and breads, break down into sugars as well so limit consumption and never out of a can. Now I could write pages on this alone but suffice it to say that you need to almost eliminate sugars, deep fried products and lean more towards veggie’s and fruit. One further caveat is to determine where your produce originates. What I mean by this is that Canada and the US banned DDT and other pesticides in the 1970’s yet in a recent study they were present in over 90% of children. The issue is that Chile, Mexico and other South and Central American countries did not ban the chemicals. Eat locally grown and organic if feasible produce. Trade those sugary snacks for apples, plums, peaches etc. Common sense goes a long way with nutrition.
- Exercise…well here is a no brainer in my opinion. Prior to video games, computers, TV’s in every room it was common for children to be outside summer and winter being active. They were burning calories. Activity releases endorphins that make a person feel better as well as hormones that regulate the body. I totally understand the dilemma in our society today as gaming, computing, texting has become a staple in the modern world. Alas but at what price? I believe the prudent thing to do as a parent is to trade off the physical and mental activities. What if your child understood that two hours of activity would earn those two hours of the non-physical activity? Why do our politicians and school trustees not simply implement a minimum of one hour physical activity per day? Now I know unequivocally that some children are simply not athletic and I am not advocating that you force them into sports. The last I checked walking is not a sport and there are games that disguise physical activity. Parents and educators need to be creative in order to increase physical activity, decrease stress on children and in general they will feel better about themselves.
- Properly Functioning Nervous System… as a Chiropractor I think it is imperative that all children be checked to ensure that there are no interferences with their nervous system. The adjustment has been shown to decrease stress and increase the immune function in the body. In other words people are healthier with chiropractic care than not so why would you not want to have your child checked.
To learn more about these concepts and in more detail plan to attend a workshop addressing childhood issues. If further information is required or you would like to attend one of our workshops please do not hesitate to contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org or our land line 905 845 2291.