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Our Responsibility to Encourage Healthy Eating Habits in Children

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When focusing on the American restaurant review, one must see their focus as not just reviewing a restaurant due to its food and drink, but as a nutrition information gathering opportunity due to our current obesity epidemic in this country.

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According to the American Diabetes Association:

  • “As found in the adult population, type 2 diabetes in children and young adults is due to the combination of insulin resistance and relative b-cell failure. While there appears to be a host of potential genetic and environmental risk factors for insulin resistance and limited b-cell reserve, perhaps the most significant risk factor is obesity. Most children who develop type 2 diabetes have a family member with type 2 diabetes; 45–80% has a parent with type 2 diabetes, and 74–90% report at least one affected first- or second-degree relative. Up to 60–90% of youth who develop diabetes have acanthosis nigricans, a thickening and hyperpigmentation of the skin at the neck and flexural areas that is due to insulin resistance. More children and young adults with diabetes have this skin problem than do adults with diabetes. It is so common that it can be used as a marker of youth at risk for type 2 diabetes. Other risk factors include puberty, intrauterine exposure to diabetes, sedentary lifestyle, and female sex.”

We have a responsibility to make the public aware of the dangers of certain foods out in the public that simply lack the nutritional value of being called food. Fast food, soda and candy are being considered dangers to our health, in any amount or form and we need to expose these truths to our children.

It is unfortunate that we need to constantly remind the public to be aware of their sugar and carbohydrate intake. Many restaurants are offering salads and healthy alternatives to the high fat and high carbohydrates of certain foods such as cheeseburgers, fries and sodas.

Type two diabetes is not a simple disease to treat especially in children who feel robbed of their freedom in food choices. Obesity in the healthcare industry puts a tremendous burden on our resources and is something that can be curbed with rigorous exercise and discipline.

Healthy habits must be adopted in the young as soon as they learn about food and overall health. The parents are equally responsible in establishing healthy eating habits with their children also at a young age. The importance of water and low sugar and low carbohydrate eating can be established in healthy households with relative ease and revision. We can battle this epidemic arming ourselves with information and showing our children what the better food alternatives may be as compared to “junk food”.

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