My name is Catherine Morgan, I'm a writer, nurse, and mother. This is a blog about women's issues, health & wellness, inspirational thoughts, and other stuff too. If you like this blog, you will love BlogHer.com where I am also a contributing editor for Health & Wellness.
Find out all the places I blog at by going to catherine-morgan.com.
I came across a pretty disturbing article today…It suggests that doctors are bias against overweight women, to the extent of jeopardizing their health and well-being. It’s no secret that overweight people are discriminated against in many ways. But recent studies have found that overweight women are actually being discriminated by their own doctors and health care professionals. With two out of every three Americans considered to be overweight or obese, this bias could be putting many people at risk. Could you be one of them?
How serious is the problem?
It begins with the availability of quality health care. If you are overweight, you may have a harder time getting health insurance, or be made to pay higher premiums than your thinner counterparts. And it doesn’t stop there. You may be paying more, but getting less. For instance, an overweight woman is more likely to be misdiagnosed or prescribed the wrong dosage of medications. There is also a greater risk of not detecting cancer early enough for effective treatment. And, overweight women are also less likely to find a fertility doctor to help them have a child.
It’s not something we, as parents, like to hear and yet it’s precisely what we need to realize: if our children are fat, the chances are we bear a big load of the blame. Kids aren’t the ones pulling the minivan into the drive-through lane at McDonald’s for dinner between dance lessons and karate practice. Again. They aren’t the ones zipping past the produce aisle and dried beans in favor of high-fat, calorie-dense convenience meals that promise to be ready after five minutes or less in the microwave. They don’t keep files crammed with the take-out menus for nearby restaurants, nor program the phone number of the pizza joint on their cell phones. Parents do.
If a child is obese at the age of two, there’s no one to blame but the parents.
Traditionally toddlers have the healthiest lifestyles – they naturally run around all the time, burning up calories.
So it’s difficult to imagine what these children’s parents have been doing to let them get so fat. If you’re busy and stressed and feel guilty about not spending enough quality time with your child, you’re probably looking for quick and easy ways to make it up to them.
Is fast-food to blame? Or is it the parent who provides the fast-food to blame?
School systems have instituted nutrition and exercise programs with some success. For example, a research group, The Healthier Options for Public Schools, followed 3700 students in a Florida county over 2 years. School districts instituted an intervention program in 4 schools and the results were measured against two schools that did not have a program. The intervention program included dietary changes, increased exercise and nutrition awareness. There were dramatic changes in the kids who had intervention, however, when those students returned from summer vacation, most had reverted back to their old habits.
Healthy Choices: Stock the fridge with a lot of healthy food and snacks, such as whole-grain choices, fresh produce and milk. Get rid of the junk food and soda.
Behavioral changes help: Serving water or milk at dinner instead of soda, sitting at a table instead of around the T.V., eating dinner at a regular time—these changes are small but can break old habits and make a real difference. Make small decisions to increase the activity in your day.
Beware of the TV: studies have shown that TV time directly correlates with snacking. Instead, encourage your child to be active, or work on a project that engages his or her hands so they are less likely to snack.
Slow down the consumption: Encourage your child to eat slowly and engage them in discussion during mealtime. Serve them smaller portions, and if they are old enough, don’t cut their food for them.
Food as nutrition, not reward: Don’t make food a source of reward or punishment. Allow your child to stop eating when they are no longer hungry and never force them to finish their plate.
Engage them in physical activity outside of the home: Enroll your child in a physical activity they might enjoy, such as gymnastics, dance or martial arts. Encourage him to join a school team or play basketball with his friends.
Be a good role model: Create a healthy lifestyle, not just a goal for your child’s weight. There are old habits to break and good habits to establish- acting as a role model for your child is the most effective way to help him or her make changes that last.
Often, I say to my adult children “I wish I knew then what I know now”. Our lives would be very different. I would advise that parents involve their children in the healthy choices. A meal always tastes better when the child is involved in the preparation. Make sure the fruit bowl is always full. Take control as a parent over the media hype. Do not give in. I would also advice parents to start with the elimination of “hydrogenated oils” and “high fructose corn syrup” from any products they purchase. Make sure your child starts their day with a nutritious breakfast that would exclude modern breakfast cereals. We drink green smoothies daily and every child loves a smoothie. Cabbage and spinach are the easiest veggies to mask and this can sustain a child with clearer thinking and brain function. In sharing with your child the importance of healthy choices and the affect on their bodies, we can reverse this preventive epidemic we call obesity.
The number of overweight children in the United States is growing at a very alarming rate. Kids are spending much less time being active, and much more time sitting in front of a TV, computer, or video-game. For this reason we are seeing an increase in children developing diseases (such as Type 2 Diabetes) that are normally associated with overweight adults. This is very troubling, especially considering that it is preventable.
Preventing your children from becoming overweight means adapting the way you and your family eat and exercise and the way you spend time together. Helping your children lead healthy lifestyles begins with you, the parent, and leading by example. — read full article
A recent study also finds that children with type 2 diabetes are more likely to develop kidney disease…
Children and teens diagnosed with type 2 diabetes are five times more likely to develop kidney disease later in life than those who develop diabetes as adults, a recent study found.
The findings underscore the importance of preventing — or at least delaying — the onset of type 2 diabetes, doctors say. — read full article
Tina at Public Spark has some tips for preventing childhood obesity…
I am not a nutritionist therefore cannot give you the 411 on diet, but I thought it would be interesting to take a psychological perspective on it. Obesity is a major problem that exists in our society today. If we can stop it early on, I believe that that we can decrease the problem later on. My boyfriend and I came up with some techniques that we would like to use when we have children. — read full post
Bev from That’s Fit has some tips from Bob Greene on childhood obesity…
Exercise physiologist Bob Greene, Oprah’s fitness trainer, had a few things to say about combating childhood obesity while in Toronto last week. He believes parents can make a significant difference. — read full post