Kids these days are more likely to be found in front of a television or a computer than playing outside. This sedentary lifestyle, along with poor diets, has resulted in a nation of overweight and obese children. Diseases that used to be seen almost exclusively in adults are increasing in alarming numbers among children. As a result, the use of medication by children is rapidly rising also. It is more important than ever to teach children the importance of a healthy lifestyle including regular exercise, a balanced diet, and preventative care.
Statistics show that in 2001 about 17% of children were classified as overweight or obese, and the numbers have increased since then. Just like adults, overweight children are at an increased risk for many diseases including diabetes, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, among others. Recent research has also shown a link between depression and being overweight. Because of the growing numbers of children with these health conditions there has been a drastic increase in the numbers of children taking medication.
Data taken from 2002 and 2005 shows that the number of kids taking medication for high cholesterol increased by 15% and the number of kids taking medication for diabetes increased a whopping 103%! Unfortunately most of these kids will be on these medications for the rest of their lives. However, a change in lifestyle can help get children off medications as well as prevent them from getting these diseases in the first place.
The cornerstones of a healthy lifestyle are exercise and diet. Thirty minutes of exercise most days of the week will help to decrease body fat. Simple activities like taking a walk as a family, playing basketball in the driveway, or biking instead of being driven to school are all ideas to incorporate activity into a child’s life. Changing the family diet to one made up of mostly whole, unprocessed foods is incredibly beneficial.
In addition, children need to be educated about the importance of taking care of their body as a whole. A healthy body first needs a healthy and optimally functioning nervous system. The nervous system is responsible for every message sent down from the brain to the rest of the body and every message from the body back up to the brain. When a child experiences a subluxation this information is impeded and the organs innervated by the nerves affected do not function properly.
Upper cervical chiropractic care corrects these subluxations to restore communication between the brain and the body. The doctors at The Specific Chiropractic Center are trained to detect interference in the nervous system and have vast experience working with children to insure that your child goes through life with a healthy nervous system.
Helping your child achieve optimal health through exercise, diet, and chiropractic care is one of the best things you can do for them. Establishing a healthy lifestyle will result in better health now and as they grow.
Depression study sees body fat link, The Associated Press, 12/02/08
Keeping Kids Free of an Epidemic of Diabetes, U.S. News and World Report, 12/01-12/08/08
Number of kids on medication jumps alarmingly, Liz Szabo, USA Today, 11/03/08
Statistics Related to Overweight and Obesity (http://www.win.niddk.nih.gov/statistics/)