Archive for the ‘Children’ Category

“Oh no…Sugar Makes me Dumb?!”

Friday, May 18th, 2012

It turns out that too much sugar not only makes you fat…it can also adversely affect your memory and ability to learn.  According to a study conducted by scientists at UCLA, too much fructose interferes with insulin’s ability to regulate how cells use and storehigh fructose corn syrup “Oh no…Sugar Makes me Dumb?!” sugar in the body.  Your body’s ability to use sugar efficiently is necessary to effectively process thoughts and emotions.  It can be argued, therefore, that sugar has as much of an impact on your mind as it does on your body.  

I have never been much of an extremist when it comes to nutrition.  My wife and I do not keep a lot of sweets in the house but I cannot say that we don’t have the occasional scoop of ice cream.  With that said, I have always believed that for a diet or fitness regimen to be successful and sustainable, it has to consist of a relatively simple lifestyle change…one that can be maintained for a lifetime.  This is why I have argued against diets such as the HCG Diet.  These diets offer effective short-term results; however, unless you are willing to change the way you eat after the weight is lost or after you have reached your fitness goals, you will eventually revert to your starting point (if not worse than you were to begin with).  

Therefore, I would never suggest that you should not have anything with sugar in it again (unless you have the willpower to pull it off).  Most likely, you would throw up your hands in frustration and say, “I just can’t do that!”  What I am suggesting is that your sugar intake should be reasonably moderated.  This is critical for our kids since we are establishing the patterns and habits for their future.  Maybe we can all be a little smarter in the process!

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As a Mom…

Monday, January 16th, 2012

On April 2, 2008 Former Surgeon General Doctor “Doc” Richard Carmona gave a speech to the Commonwealth Club of California.  In that speech Doc Carmona made some provocative claims.  The speech was primarily focused on the topic of the childhood obesity epidemic.  The provocative part was that he claimed the childhood obesity epidemic was one of the greatest security threats to our country.  Essentially, if we coninue to produce obese children, where are we going to get our firemen, policemen and military in the future?  If a large number of the candidates for those positions are incapable of passing a basic physical fitness test where will are public safety personnel going to be found?Finding Happiness as a Mom As a Mom...

I use a video of this speech in a presentation I give on health and nutrition, so it was fresh in my mind.  It made me start to think about my responsibilities as a mom.  I am not only thinking about my responsibilities as an American patriot but also the responsibilities I have to my children to ensure I maximize their opportunities as they move on into adulthood. 

I have always been concerned about my children’s health and well being even before I turned my passion for good nutrition into a successful business.  I have come to realize, however, that the fitness level of my children can either limit or broaden the opportunities available to them in the future.  If I have an obese kid, it will have a negative impact on them on several levels.  The obvious implication is that there are professions that require a level of physical fitness or health to perform.  Less obvious is the discriminatory stigma attached to people with obesity.  Regardless, a lack of positive health and physical fitness will mean struggle and challenge for my children throughout their lives.  I am sure that as a mom you would want a healthier life for your children from the time they are born until the day you no longer have influence over them.  It is for this reason that I want to be a positive influence and good role model for my kids.  Who is ready to join me?

That Evil Electronic Box and Type One Diabetes

Thursday, October 13th, 2011

It never ceases to amaze me how often I find how much television can adversely affect our lives and the lives of our children.  There are studies that show excessive exposure to television can limit a childs capacity to learn and assimilate information.  Most recently it was suggested that the frequency of scene changes in the popular show Sponge Bob Square Pants may contribute to incidences of people with ADHD.  Who knew that some Sponge Bob fun could cause issues for kids! 

Beyond the potential for for causing mental deficiencies, it is not a great secret that  too much television is a432732 15412 25 That Evil Electronic Box and Type One Diabetes contributing factor to the juvenile obesity epidemic.  For obvious reasons, the longer a child sits in front of a television screen the less they are engaging in necessary physical activity.  If kids aren’t moving, are not challenging themselves physically, and are eating junk food, they are most likely destined to fall under the obesity definition starting at an early age.

Now scientists have determined that kids with type one diabetes who spend hours in front of the television have greater challenges in controlling their blood sugar.  It would seem to be easy to blame this correlation on a lack of physical activity and obesity associated with that lack of activity.  Despite that easy assumption it was determined that this connection was not proven and there was more to the blood sugar/television equation. 

Although it was suggested that a lack of excercise plays some role, it is also believed that kids have a tendency to snack while sitting in front of the television.  Since kids suffering from type one diabetes have to inject insulin around mealtime to control their blood sugar, it is believed that more than 4 hours of daily television viewing can interfere with a childs ability to track what food they are consuming.  As a result their blood sugar becomes imbalanced due to a lack of attention.  This may also go along with the belief that television affects a childs ability to learn and think properly.  

My kids have been on break for the last week.  I think we will be kicking them out of the house tomorrow to go play.  How about you?

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What influences Your Childs Eating Habits?

Monday, October 10th, 2011

I have some good news.  You may have more influence on your children than you give yourself credit for.  When my children were very young my wife and I struggled with the decision to have her work outside the home and bring in a second income, or have her stay home to raise our kids.  Several years later this decision would lead her into a profession that would offer her the best of both worlds.  Those that know us know I am referring to our network marketing business.  At the time of this decision however we were both very concerned about the financial challenges we may experience.  Even though this perceived hardship was later determined to be mostly unfounded we still needed to conduct a cost/benefit analysis of our decision.  In the end we realized that our concern for our children’s future far outweighed the question of how to make wealth.  We realized that in 20 years our children were going to be our legacy.  They were going to reflect back on us for good or bad.  If our children turned out well and reflected the values we believe are important, then we would be able to take some credit.  Conversely, if they turnedlovinit What influences Your Childs Eating Habits? out poorly we were going to have to take the blame. 

Sometimes we as parents relinquish some of our responsibility, but in the process also relinquish some of our control over our childrens future.  We may blame the behavior of our children on their choice in friends; or the influence of their school; or the television shows that they watch.  I believe that these influences, however, are provided power over them by the decisions we as parents make about the examples we set for our children.  Our kids see where we go, what we do, and who we associate with and determine that these decisions are appropriate for them as well.  They choose the friends they do because those are the types of friends we keep.  They may be  influenced at school because we have failed to provide them with the proper tools to survive in an environment that may contradict our own belief system.  They are influenced adversely by television because we don’t retain an interest in what they are watching. 

In a recent article in MyHealthNewsDaily they discussed a study dealing with the influence that television commercials have on kids decisions about the foods they eat and the smart eating choices they make.  Surprisingly it was determined that when parents intervene and discuss the commercials and the choices offered about proper nutrition, children can be positively influenced by their parents.  Therefore, all hope is not lost.  Just because McDonald’s tells your kids they should be “lovin’ it” when referring to french fries, you just may be able to convince your kids to love apples or grapes!

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Ulcerative Colitis (IBD) and Nutrition

Thursday, September 22nd, 2011

I have a very good friend at work who’s daughter suffer’s from Ulcerative Colitis (A form of Inflamatory Bowel Disease).  As is often the case when it comes to serious ailments that affect our children, my friend is well on her way to becoming an Ulcerative Colitis (IBD) and Nutrition expert on the topic.

Quite often parents who find themselves in such situations become more knowledgable concerning a particular disease than many doctors.  Passion and intimate concern prompts education about diseases such as Ulcerative Colitis more than most other catalysts in my experience.  My friend is no different and plans on translating the knowledge that she has aquired coupled with her desire to help others into a blog of  her own.  When she is up and running I plan on sharing the name of her blog with all of you.  Her blog will be focused like a laser on relating the day to day trials and tribulations of having a child who suffers from Ulcerative Colitis.  I believe she will be able to provide thousands of parents with information and comfort as they try to understand and cope with the disease.

I do not pretend to understand the issues she must deal with; however, whenever I am presented with information concerning a persons digestive system I feel compelled to comment as it relates to nutrition.  I have done some research and determined that there are some nutritional considerations.  Failing to pay attention to nutrition can have serious implications because symptoms of diarrhea and bleeding can lead to dehydration, electrolyte imbalance, and loss of essential nutrients. That can lead to a host of problems such as fatigue, weakness, and anemia.  It is generally recommended that a well balanced diet consist of…

  • Foods high in protein
  • Complex Carbohydrates
  • Whole Grains
  • Good Fats

The research I have read indicates that there is no specific diet for people suffering from Ulcerative Colitis, but the big challenge seems to be avoiding foods that cause distress.  This can require some trial and error when determining what exactly causes a problem for  you or your child; however, there are some foods which seem to be common triggers for distress.  Some of these foods to consider include…

  • Alcohol
  • Caffeine
  • Carbonated Beverages Ulcerative Colitis (IBD) and Nutrition
  • Dairy Products
  • Dried Beans, Peas or Legumes
  • Dried fruits, berries, fruits with pulp or seeds
  • Foods containing sulfur or sulfate
  • Foods high in fiber, including whole-grain products
  • Hot sauce, pepper
  • Meats
  • nuts, crunchy nut butters
  • popcorn
  • products containing sorbitol (sugar-free gum and candies)
  • raw vegetables
  • refined sugar
  • seeds
  • spicy foods, sauces

I am not the expert.  I will defer to my friend when her blog comes available.  In the meantime I offer this brief primer.

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How FAT are your kids? How FAT are you?

Saturday, September 3rd, 2011

I was watching The O’Reilly Factor on Fox News Channel today.  In one of the segments a panel was discussing a situation where a severely obese child was removed from his fathers home by a government entity.  The child was 11 years old and…400 POUNDS!! 

One of the arguments made by one of the panel members defending this decision was this.  How was this action anyobese child203 How FAT are your kids?  How FAT are you? different than the choice to remove a child from a home because he was NOT being fed?  In other words, if we were talking about malnurished children due to the parents neglect, would anybody argue against rescuing the child from such an environment.  I found this argument to be interesting as it caused me to reconsider my previously stated position on this matter…not change it…just reconsider it. 

There were some additional facts that should be noted about this specific case.  The father was physically incapable of properly taking care of his son because of his own physical issues.  As a result of the fathers physical limitations he was feeding his son fast food three times a day.  The child was ultimately removed from the home because it was believed the child would not live past 20 years of age if something was not done.  I must admit that in these very specific circumstances, I do not disagree with the resolution. 

Yet I want to make it clear that identifying children with obesity in general does not justify breaking up a family.  fast+food+kids How FAT are your kids?  How FAT are you?Furthermore, it certainly does not justify the government interfering with the family structure.  If we as a nation begin to travel down this path, where does it stop.  Will we remove children for being 300 pounds…200 pounds…150 pounds?  Will we remove children from their homes because they are getting bad grades in school? 

Removing children from their homes would open a can of worms that I do not think we would close very easily.  There is another consideration as well.  The percentage of fat kids (pardon my bluntness) has tripled over the last 30 years to 17%.  If the government is going to take care of solving the problem of obesity for children by removing them from homes, where are they going to put them all?

The bottom line is this.  As I have stated repeatedly, we need to consider how our behaviors and decisions as they relate to food and nutrition are influencing our children.  If we smoke, they stand a much greater chance of smoking.  If we drink to excess, they are more likely to do the same…and if we abuse our bodies and become obese…well…you get the picture.  I am curious what all of you think about the government taking the 400 pound 11 year old.  I must tell you I am torn.  We all need to start looking at ourselves before something like this becomes commonplace. 

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A Parent is Responsible for More Than Their Own Health

Saturday, August 27th, 2011

This premise may seem logical and reasonable.  The day anyone decides to have a child they give up the right to be a1546120 com 284pxobesi A Parent is Responsible for More Than Their Own Health bad example.   As a matter of fact, my opinion is that the day you start down the road to parenthood you relinquish all rights to selfishness and generally bad behavior.  This includes how you take care of yourself.  

The axiom of “Do as I say, not as I do”, never works.  If you smoke cigarettes, there is a greater chance that you will raise a smoker.  If you drink to excess, do not be surprised if your child develops problems with alcohol as well.  Finally, if you fail to pay attention to your health, weight and nutrition you will probably have children that follow in your footsteps.  Our responsibilities in this area are not limited to the days following the birth of our children, however. 

A recent study determined that exposing human embryos to high levels of saturated fat can actually harm the development of a child in utero.  The study went on to suggest that women should strive to achieve a healthy weight prior to having children.  The study focused on embryos from cattle but the implications from the study appeared to translate to human eggs as well.  Eggs exposed to high levels of fatty acids had fewer cells, altered genes and altered metabolic activity.  The scientists also believed the study provided some insight as to why obese women may have trouble conceiving in the first place.  

fatty acid A Parent is Responsible for More Than Their Own Health

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Obese and overweight women have a tendency to metabolize more of the fat they store.  The fatty acids that are subsequently stored in the ovaries have been shown to be toxic to eggs.  Therefore, just like drinking alcohol or smoking cigarettes during pregnancy can have serious health implications to an unborn child, being severely overweight and failing to eat properly can likewise produce adverse effects.  

A child doesn’t get a vote on who their parents will be.  They don’t get to choose the body in which they are conceived.  Therefore, the responsibility falls on the parent to do right by their children and make good choices, not only for their own health, but for the health of their children now and into the future.  

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Does the Government Know Better Than You When it Comes to Raising Your Kids?

Thursday, July 21st, 2011

On July 12, 2011 FoxNews.com published an article discussing a recent commentary in the Journal of American Medical Association.  In the commentary it was suggested that super obese children should be taken away from their parents as if they were being abused.  In my opinion, this is a frightening proposal as it begs the question “how much power should a government have in shaping the life of a child.”  Personally, I subscribe to the belief that a government powerful enough to give you everything you need also has the power to wrest away everything you have.  I lean towards the opinion, that above all else, our personal responsibility trumps the power of others to affect our lives and that power should be guarded at all costs. 

Several years back documentary movie director Morgan Sperlock produced a film called Supersize51T82FS9Y8L. SL500 AA300  Does the Government Know Better Than You When it Comes to Raising Your Kids? Me.  Mr. Sperlock was prompted to create the film when he read the story of two teenage girls who were suing McDonald’s blaming the restaurant for their obesity.  A point of discussion in the movie had to do with the girls personal choices that led to them being overweight.  Ultimately, the question was whether or not these girls had control over their decisions related to the food they ate, or were they so weak that they were unable to resist the enticement of the famous clown.  I would have a hard time admitting such a weakness and believe with all of my heart that everyone has ultimate control over their own lives.  It is only when we refuse to take responsibility for these poor choices do people start to blame others for their bad health

I have known many people in my life who claim that they are unable to control themselves when it comes to alcohol, drugs…or yes, even food.  I do not deny that there are many people who experience some weakness, whether it is physiological or psychological that increases the likelihood that they will make poor decisions related to dangerous or unhealthy behavior.  I still believe, however that these behaviors are chosen.  It is like the person who uses inappropriate language at work and claims they can’t control themselves.  Yet this same person will refrain from this language when they are around their parents or children.  Controlling it may be difficult, and require some effort, but it can be done.  In my opinion, the people who claim they can’t stop eating are simply offering an argument so they can continue to engage in the behavior they know to be wrong and destructive.

 Does the Government Know Better Than You When it Comes to Raising Your Kids?This brings us to the discussion for today.  Some presumably smart people are suggesting that they know better than you when it comes to raising your children.  Where does this presumption end?  If your kids are not getting good grades?  If they are getting in trouble with the law?  If they are not eating their vegetables?

The article provides the statistic that there are currently approximately two million American kids who are “extremely” obese; however, the article also admits that these kids are not being influenced solely by their parents.  Where adults remain much more impervious to advertising and suggestion, kids are much more susceptible to the images they are exposed to on the television screen.  Yet I take great exception to the idea that forces external to the family unit would do a better job  of raising responsible children brimming with good character.  I will not say that parents who allow their children to become morbidly obese are doing a good job; however, the answer is that they must do a better job.  We as Americans must recognize that our behavior is cheating our children out of a healthier, longer life.  We must recognize our personal responsibility when we are making choices that will shape the lives of our children

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