Childhood obesity a big challenge for Michelle Obama. It is one of the biggest challenges that medical authorities have to face. More than 17% of our kids are officially obese whereas more than 30 % are overweight, they have 10 to 20 % more than the expected weight for their age, their height and body! The statistics that First Lady Michelle Obama cites from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), look like this: 32% of kids aged 2-19 are overweight or obese, 38% of Hispanic children are overweight or obese, 36% of Black children are overweight or obese, and 29% of White children are overweight or obese. I am elated that the First Lady Michelle Obama has taken this so serious, as I, too, have had concerns about our children for over 10 years. That?s when I first started noticing drastic changes in the size and in changing health status of our kids and teenagers
Why Children become obese
Mainly because they consume more calories than they burn. I do not believe that is the only reason our kids are obese. Obesity often has a genetic cause in such a way that a child having one parent obese runs a 60% risk of being overweight after 10 years of age and during adolescence whereas another kid with both parents obese has an 80% risk. In addition, fetus exposed to chemicals such as endocrine disruptors (i.e.: xenoestrogen bisphenol) tend to develop obesity. So we know there are toxic reasons as well. Kids are also obese or over weight today because they spend most of their leisure time watching TV, or playing video games, Xbox, or navigating on the Internet while eating potato chips and drinking soda. Such a lifestyle devoid of outdoor exercise and proper eating has a negative impact on metabolism; anyway obesity results from a complex interaction between genes, environment and habits or lifestyle.
Obese Children Are Prone to Disease
Obese children are prone to high blood pressure, cardiovascular diseases ?old-people- type? arteries, Type II Diabetes mellitus, high cholesterol, thyroid damage, respiratory problems, liver disease,reproductive problems, gout and even cancer. There are overall 30 known medical situations related to obesity. When magnified, those impairments pose a big challenge to the state and its Health system.
Diseases related to obesity cost 1 billion dollars a year to the American federal government and the state cannot shrug off this problem, for our youth is the future of this nation. Obesity causes depression in children and can go as far as suicidal ideation. Overweight kids are called all sorts of names by their cruel classmates: fat, fat-so, gorilla, elephant, big mama, chubby, lazy, glutton, etc. Those overweight youngsters are profoundly offended in their self-esteem because of so many stigmas, so much discrimination and so much teasing and embarrassment, reason why they will do all they humanly can to lose weight and sometimes they will indulge in very extreme measures having the same emaciating effects as bulimia and anorexia nervosa. Many times they do not succeed at all; they lose very few pounds or nothing!I wrote about how kids need maximum nutrition in our book 21 pounds in 21 days: The Martha?s Vineyard Diet Detox because I am convinced that the future of our kids, detoxing for health is the answer (www.mvdietdetox.com)! Our youngest male client Gary, 15 years old, could tell you in his own words how detoxing for good nutrition and how letting go of the toxins saved his social life and decreased his depression.
Parents and Teachers Should Be Alarmed
Since children spend a good portion of their time in school, serving proper food in the cafeteria and having the pupils and students perform proper gym and outdoor exercise, are likely to profit to their well being and weight control. Unfortunately that is not the case! High criticism has been made against the nutritional quality of the USDA approved National School Lunch Program, and the food served in school cafeteria. In addition to the researcher?s criticizing the rush with which the children must eat. And, the recent cuts in school budgets make nothing more than worsening the situation. That is the reason why an increasing number of teachers express their discontent when they are assigned to the cafeteria.I know this is a sore subject for many parents as well because there hands are tied; they work hard and cannot make fresh lunches daily or can not fight with the kids about healthy choices versus personal choices but there are many times you can negotiate with your kids: How about a pizza party at the end of the month in exchange for vegetable juice daily after school? That?s a great start. We have recipes for juices and soups in our New York Times Best Selling book 21 pounds in 21 days: The Martha?s Vineyard Diet Detox. One young teenager decided to come to the retreat on Martha?s Vineyard to get healthy while losing weight after she saw me on the Larry King show and The View. She was so successful with the program that she became an advocate in her school and featured on The Housewives of New York promoting the awareness of leading a healthy lifestyle due to her serious goal of pursuing health. This one child has changed the lives of many school age kids. At the retreat we call our program for kids ?Maximum Nutrition Detox? or MND ).
It?s Back To Basics
Childhood obesity cures will never be an easy task in America, unless we regress to those times when our grandfathers and grandmothers used to eat fresh and natural, when they used to gather around the table, pray as a united family, and eat natural food made with all natural ingredients provided by Mother Nature according to each season. At that time there were no competing industries, no processing, no chemicals, no hormones in food, no preservatives, pesticides and the like of, no TV, no computer games, or those ultra modern gadgets to keep our children from the outdoor pleasure, activities and exercise. It?s going back to basics back when my grandmother feed all of us ?out of the garden food?. I am proud of our First Lady Michelle Obama for having the first White House garden. I bet she had a grandma like mine.
Do Not Put Kids On A Diet
Without putting the child on a so-called weight-loss diet designed for adults. Helping children to get rid of the toxins accumulated in his/her system because of those chips, sugars, sodas, and fast foods eaten in the street, in the TV room and even in the school cafeteria, will give way to a positive and beneficial turn in his/her health and life. The right nutrition with daily fruit smoothies, vegetable and protein drinks with added essential fatty acids, proper vitamins and supplements and other elements of a good program is what our kids need. This should happen not once a day but 4-6 times per day small highly nutritious snacks or small meals with proper food combining! In that, parents will have a great responsibility; they will have to lead by their own good example, reorganize their lifestyle and eating habits and encourage their children to eat smaller and healthier portions and spend more time outdoor to increase their physical activities. They will perhaps whine when they are told or even ordered to cut their TV time, but the benefit in the long run will be so much that they will, in the future, give sincere thanks to you.