Obesity is predicted to become the single most prevalent problem facing our society today, and it poses a health threat to both adults—and children.
Recently, a study of children throughout the world showed that United States teenagers have higher rates of obesity than their peers in 14 other industrialized nations. (Arch of Ped & Adol Med, January 2004) An estimated 15 percent (almost 9 million) US children and teenagers are thought to be overweight. Overweight children often become overweight adults, with greater predisposition for cardiovascular disease, diabetes mellitus, hypertension, and a host of other health concerns.
Every industrialized nation is at risk, warns the World Health Organization (2003), because people are abandoning traditional dietary habits and adopting more sedentary lives. The National Diet and Nutrition Survey of Britain, which studied the dietary habits of school-aged children in the UK, found that half of all British students do not receive the necessary daily intake of fruits and vegetables. (NDNS 2000)
Teaching children to live well in 3 simple steps…
Healthcare practitioners recommend that the whole family become involved in making healthy food choices as a way to prevent and decrease overweight and obesity. Parents and grandparents are at the forefront of dietary decision-making, and they can provide a positive, teaching example for children and young adults.
Just think of all the choices that we make during our busy and hectic days. Should you stop for a burger with the kids on the run? Should you send out for home-delivery of a pizza after the high school athletic game? Or should you set the kids in front of the television with popcorn or some fresh-cut carrots?
Our daily choices seem endless, but making the right choices in just three simple areas can help you enjoy the quality of life that you’d like for yourself—and your children.
By eliminating poor lifestyle choices, nourishing our bodies with healthy foods, and replenishing items that we may be lacking, we can truly enjoy all that family life has to offer!
For a moment, take a look around your home at the many live plants you may have growing in your garden. Perhaps you’ve noticed the need to cut back on the excessive use of chemicals, trim your watering schedule, or completely remove the plant from a location where it may be exposed to environmental toxins.
The same idea is true for our bodies. Just like other living organisms, we need to eliminate the choices that are not best for us. Here’s the perfect opportunity to inform teenagers and children of the many items that impact negatively on good health:
- Eating fast-food, junk-food, and foods high in fats and sugar content
- Excessive soda consumption
- Too much caffeine
- Drug abuse
- Excessive alcohol intake
- Lack of sleep
- High stress
- Living or working near pollutants
- Physical inactivity
- Poor emotional outlook on life
- Lack of fiber, fruits, vegetables, and other complex carbohydrates
Toxins accumulate in the body on a daily basis. Every day we are exposed to heavy metals, chemicals, molds and fungus, and for some, alcohol and drugs—all of which must be flushed from our system. To eliminate, adults should drink at least eight or more glasses of water per day. Here, you may want to teach your children about the importance of drinking water, rather than reaching for that favorite soft drink. A diet high in fiber, fruits, and vegetables will also aid in the elimination of toxins through the body.
All of us need to nourish the body with vital nutrients. In general, dietary guidelines may differ for infants and very small children, but children over the age of 2 can be exposed to a variety of healthy fruits and vegetables. Consult with your pediatrician or healthcare practitioner who can help you make healthy food choices for children. Consider introducing your family to foods that offer complex carbohydrates, such as vegetables, fruits and grains; as well as proteins found in low-fat meats, poultry, fish and legumes. This is the ideal time to introduce teenagers to healthful, dietary selections.
Nourishing the body also means getting plenty of rest, and taking time for enjoyable activities and exercise that will bring your family together for some good family fun—and plenty of laughter. It’s never too early to teach children the value of having fun!
During those times when your days are especially hectic or you are under stress, consider replenishing vital nutrients through the use of supplements. Major life changes in our adult lives, such as pregnancy or external stresses in our environment, can result in fatigue and place undue strain on the immune system. Women undergoing menopause and teenagers preparing for athletic competition may also wish to replenish the body with vital nutrients, vitamins, and trace minerals for better stamina. Many supplements are perfectly safe for small children, and your healthcare practitioner can advise you with regard to supplement usage for adolescents.
With the right frame of mind and an approach to nutrition that includes the entire family, everyone can experience better quality of life, and avoid the consequences of ill health that frequently result from making poor dietary choices.
Try these AIM products for living well
Eliminate—with AIM Herbal Fiberblend® for better colon health; featuring a unique combination of soluble fibers and cleansing herbs, to help your body detoxify naturally.
Nourish—with AIM Garden Trio®, including AIM BarleyLife®, AIM Just Carrots®, AIM RediBeets®. The perfect “fast-food” trio when mixed with juice or water—that the whole family will love. An excellent way to get an extra serving of vegetables into the diet.
Replenish—with AIM Proancynol® 2000. Combines green tea, grape seed extract, alpha-lipoic acid and other powerful antioxidants to help fight free radicals and maintain a healthy immune system.
Replenish—with AIM CellSparc 360®, featuring coenzyme Q10 (CoQ10) with tocotrienols and fish oil to provide total cardiovascular support.