Childhood obesity is out of control and the poor quality of the food we give our children has been blamed for years. However, this epidemic does not have a single culprit; there are many other situations that are responsible. One of them, and my personal pet peeve, is using food as a reward to stimulate repeat performances or results, such as winning at a competition or earning good grades.
Childhood weight plays a major role in future obesity, according to a study of more than 7,700 kindergartners. Researchers measured the height and weight of a cohort of children seven times during the course of nine years and found that those who were overweight in kindergarten were four times as likely as normal-weight peers to become obese by age 14. In fact, nearly half of all cases of obesity observed between kindergarten and eighth grade occurred in children who were overweight at age five. This major study suggests that efforts to curb childhood obesity need to start before children enter school.
Heart disease is our nation’s number one killer, accounting for 1 out of every 4 deaths each year! The primary cause of heart attacks and strokes is the gradual clogging, hardening and damage done to the inside walls of our blood vessels.
In a society obsessed with diets, body image and popularity, eating disorders seem to provide an answer to some people’s feelings of depression and low self-esteem. Unfortunately, though, eating disorders are a mystery that may not have a happy ending. Much like Alice as she begins her journey, once you begin the path down the rabbit hole of an eating disorder, it is difficult to come out on the other side, no matter how young or old you are.