We hear time and time again about the frighteningly high rate of child obesity in the United States. And it continues to rise. Research now shows that unless we take serious measures and precautions, our children will the first generation to die younger than their parents.[sup]1[/sup]

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), more than one-third of U.S. adults (over 72 million people) and 17% of U.S. children are obese. The statistics are startling. Several contributing factors include: genetics, diet, socioeconomic status, and physical inactivity–all precursors to overweight children.

Children and adolescents have different stresses than adults, fitting into the right clique, wearing the trendy clothes, etc. Being overweight isn’t cool, and being teased about it is worse. Establishing positive eating habits with your child can make all the difference in their future. Healthy changes can be made in the eating habits of every child, from toddlers to teens. Are you willing as a parent to set the guidelines for your child? Here is food for thought…

The CDC tells us that obesity is costly and increases the risks of many health conditions including coronary heart disease, type 2 diabetes, many cancers, sleep apnea and respiratory problems to name a few.

As parents, it is our responsibility to choose a healthy diet for our children. Lessening high carbohydrates and drastically reducing foods with a high sugar count will cut the calories. If your child is eating more calories than he/she is burning, he/she can gain as much as ten pounds per year. Suggestion: Cut out fast food, soft drinks, and pastries, which are all high caloric foods and hard to burn off. It’s a proven fact that kids who are raised on fruits and vegetables, like fruits and vegetables.

The average child spends 3 plus hours per day watching TV or playing video games, which leads to inactivity. Opportunities for parents to engage their kids are plentiful in the desert. Dynamic Athletix of Palm Desert offers youth athletic programs. This is a safe, fun, and positive training environment for children that builds confidence and boosts spirits. In order to keep a child’s interest, Dynamic Athletix focuses on the fundamentals of movement and stability. According to world renowned strength and conditioning coach Peter Twist, studies show that kids 30 years ago consumed more calories than kids today but they were far more active in daily life. Twist is nearly 100% certain that obesity among our youth stems from inactivity.

As a parent, how do you plan to guide your child to brighter future? Focus on healthy eating (more fruits and vegetables) and limiting TV/video time. As a desert resident and mother of two, I see firsthand the positive effects of healthy eating, and how fortunate we are to be able to play outside year round.

Start today so your child has a better tomorrow!

Bronwyn Ison is a yoga instructor with open (public) classes at the Empire Polo Grounds. Bronwyn can be reached at [email protected] or visit www.BronwynIson.com

Reference: 1) New England Journal of Medicine, March 2005

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