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Articles by Natural Health Author Loretta Lanphier, NP, CN, HHP, CH
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Childhood Obesity: Are You an Enabler?
by Loretta Lanphier, NP, CN, HHP, CH(The Best Years in Life) We’ve all heard the statistics. America’s children are seriously overweight, and many of them are dangerously obese. This sad state of affairs has numerous causes, and opens up the next generation to a slew of health problems both now and in the future. It is time we as parents/grandparents and concerned adults take inventory of what we may be doing – or not doing – to contribute to this travesty, and even more importantly to examine how we can help to turn this trend around.
Who Is To Blame?
One of the most obvious factors in the obesity problem is the media and the American culture that it has spawned. Kids are bombarded with commercials on TV, the internet, and even through ads and promotional campaigns in their schools. The majority of these messages push soft drinks and other junk foods as the “cool” thing to fill our bellies with. There is very little information offered to them about the importance of healthy food choices such as fresh fruits and vegetables and the value of drinking plenty of pure water everyday. High-calorie, extremely caffeinated “energy” drinks are all the rage. With advertisers promoting them as a drug-induced lift – even to the point of packaging and marketing them to look (and act) in a similar way as alcoholic beverages. A legal – but very unethical – way for Junior to get a “buzz” and pack on extra empty calories to boot.
Public school cafeteria menus promote foods that are extremely high in fat and starches as well as containing empty calories. A recent series of TV programs featuring Jamie Oliver and entitled Food Revolution targeted the unhealthy food served in school cafeterias. It was astounding to actually see the unhealthy foods that our children are being fed! When offered healthy food, the children turned it down. No wonder children are presenting disease at much earlier ages than that of their parents. In this area, we have definitely lost control. Possibly if more parents/grandparents took time to go to school and eat with their children several times each month the parents could petition school districts and officials for more healthy food. Studies have been done that actually prove less behavior problems and higher overall grades when at school children have less access to sugary foods and drinks and are fed healthy and nutrient dense foods
Of course, the fast food chains have earned a significant amount of blame in this too. They push high-fat, high-calorie items on their menus for breakfast, lunch, and dinner, and why not “super-size” your meal for a couple of extra bucks and a toy. I read recently that McDonald’s is showing a large increase in profits – during these difficult financial times – mainly from their dollar menu items and the new premium and iced-coffee products they now offer, some of which are also packed with sugar and thus lots of extra calories. Let’s face it, overeating is an American cultural icon and a huge part of the economy as well. Some professional sports franchises have admitted that it is difficult for them to turn a profit without robust sales of food and beverages during games. All too often, part of taking the family to a ballgame is encouraging the kids (and adults) to overeat and stuff themselves with nutritionally poor and fattening foods.
About the Author:
Loretta Lanphier, NP, CN, CH, HHP is a Naturopathic Practitioner, Clinical Nutritionist, Clinical Herbalist and Holistic Health Practitioner as well as Founder/CEO of Oasis Advanced Wellness. As a stage III cancer survivor since 2000, she understands the necessity of providing the body with what it needs to repair and heal. Loretta is dedicated to helping people create lasting changes in their health and well-being through whole body nutritional balancing, physician strength supplementation and up-to-date natural health education and modalities. Loretta is Editor and contributor to the worldwide e-newsletter Advanced Health & Wellness and her new health and wellness blog Exhibit Health. She is also a co-moderator of our Yahoo Health Group focused on cancer, Oleandersoup.
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