By David Martin, President and CEO of VeinInnovations
We begin teaching our children from almost the moment they’re born. Infants soak up our words to learn to speak, carrying on accents and dialects through what they hear. We teach our kids to share, to ride bicycles, to play nicely with others, and brush their teeth. We also teach them about food, exercise, and nutrition.
As parents, our habits good and bad are shared with our children. The food we provide for our families has an impact on each member, especially our kids. We decide for them when they’re small, and the food choice they make later are a usually a reflection of what they’ve been raised with.
Obesity is sometimes considered a family disease. Behind obese children, there are obese parents. Family is a strong force in our lives, and when it comes to combating obesity, this can be a great thing. Just as families gain weight together, they lose it together!
In March, National Public Radio reported on the ”halo effect” of weight loss. Individuals who lost weight saw their family, and even friends, lose weight, too. Making small changes to your family’s lifestyle and shopping cart can have a big effect on your collective waistlines.
Losing weight is a challenge. It requires us to make impactful changes in our lives. The convenience we enjoy in America comes at a cost. We could get through the day using very few steps. We don’t have to cook, surrounded by restaurants and fast food drive thrus. Most of us labor in front of a computer screen, seated at a desk for hours at a time.
Making time to move, educating ourselves about our health and our bodies, and making better choices are worth it, especially for our kids. Obese children, like obese adults, are becoming Type 2 diabetics and having trouble with their blood pressure. The rising generation may die before their parents do. We as families and individuals have the power to put the brakes on obesity, to help our loved ones and our communities.
For more information and to learn about stopping the cycle of childhood obesity, please visit Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta’s Wellness section.