Monday, January 23, 2012

How To Prevent Childhood Obesity to Increase Life Expectancy

We are reaching a stage in our obesity epidemic where we have decreased the life expectancy of our children!

According to Former Surgeon General Richard Carmona, we may see the first generation of children that will have a shorter life expectancy than their parents.

Up to now, each generation has had a longer life expectancy than their parents because we keep learning about better diets, have more modern medicine and technology to help us - and we have more information about healthy aging. But this knowledge has met up with a different and newer phenomenon - which is fast food and processed food. And children are paying the price as more of them are becoming extremely obese and obese at younger ages.

The rate of obesity among children and adolescents in the U.S. has almost tripled since the early 1980s but at present it has stopped increasing. Is this good news? Well yes it's good that the rate is no longer increasing - but it's bad that the rate is stuck at about 32% - because it is that 32% of our children who are the ones with lowered life expectancies. That's nearly one-third of the younger population!

Why is their life expectancy shortened? These obese children have high blood pressure and elevated blood cholesterol levels, which are early indicators for cardiovascular disease. And they are also developing diabetes. These are medical issues that had previously been seen in adult populations and this is what is putting them at risk of dying decades younger than normal-weight children of the same ages.

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