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As many of my regular viewers to this web blog know, there are many factors contributing to childhood obesity. I post daily here about it, whether news print articles, opinions, feedback, or just personal opinion.
Recently, I wrote an article for Yahoo! (click here) about childhood obesity. I started searching for sources for this article, and received over 100 responses to the question, “What do you think caused the rise in childhood obesity?” Responses came from professional and Olympic athletes, fitness experts, health experts, nutritionist, and parents.
I was unable to use everyone’s feedback, but thought it would be great to post some of their responses on my blog in a new web series, “What Causes Childhood Obesity.” I hope that you enjoy the opinions here from various individuals. Please remember, my including their posts does not necessarily mean I agree or endorse their opinion, rather, a place to share other people’s thoughts.
The two main reasons why childhood obesity is on the rise are:
1) The modern lifestyle for children is similar to that of adults. It involves more sitting than standing or moving around. Kids sleep all night, sit at breakfast, sit on the ride to school, sit most of the time at school, sit on the way home, sit at dinner, and sit while doing homework, watching TV, while on the computer, etc. Children are extremely sedentary.
2) With processed foods comes high levels of sugar, salt, and nonnutritive ingredients. Households are depending too much on these foods in feeding themselves and their children causing problems with obesity and all the medical problems associated with it (diabetes, high cholesterol, heart disease).
One change which can have a positive effect for a lifetime is for the entire family to start a habit of doing things together that are active on a daily basis. Spending some time outside daily riding bikes, playing catch, gardening, whatever. It needs to be a family affair to have an impact on the child. Too often parents look at the obese child as the one with the problem when it’s a family problem.
Lavinia Rodriguez, Ph.D., clinical psychologist and expert in psychology of eating and weight problems – including eating disorders Author of *Mind Over Fat Matters: Conquering Psychological Barriers to Weight Management.
As part of my new web series, The Role Model In You, here is my most recent interview. The Role Model In You series discusses how individuals were influenced as a child to lead a healthy lifestyle. It covers who influenced these individuals, the changes they made in their life to be healthy, and the message they would like to convey to the youth of today. Our guests include doctors, soccer stars, Super Bowl champions, NBA players, Olympic gold medalist, entrepreneurs, celebrities, and just regular people looking to share their story. I hope you enjoy it!
1. Your name, title, and age? What do you do (or did you do) for a living?
Mike Pascale, Artist/Writer, late 40s. Freelance storyboardist, writer, artist, comic book/strip creator, songwriter, former ad agency senior art director/copywriter.
2. Who was the person that inspired you as a child to eat healthy and stay fit? What was their relationship to you?
Guitarist/songwriter Ted Nugent. I admired his guitar-playing and enjoyed many of his songs (not his politics) since I was a teenager.
3. What did they do to inspire you?
He became a massive, popular success in a business known for drugs and booze without ever taking drugs, smoking cigarettes or getting drunk! He railed against drugs and alcohol in his interviews and some of his concerts. And he fired anyone who worked for him that was drunk or high. A true iconoclast who stood up for his values.
4. How did their lesson change your life?
His lesson affirmed that I did NOT have to succumb to stupid peer pressure, I could enjoy life MUCH more by being straight, and gave me ammunition against my friends and peers who wanted me to think I had to drink or smoke (or worse) to have a good time. (Many of my peers don’t even remember their favorite concerts because they were too stoned or drunk.) While they were damaging their minds and bodies, I was learning my music and art, getting better, and making the Honor Roll every semester in junior high and high school, something I’m still proud of. And I still have the same waist size I had in high school.
5. Do you convey their message to kids in your life presently?
I don’t have kids in my life presently, but I mentored middle school students at my old junior high for almost ten years. During that time, I did encourage them to avoid the bad stuff and that they didn’t have to succumb to peer pressure. I told them about guys like Ted, Frank Zappa, Anthrax, Iron Maiden, Jack Kirby, Stan Lee, Charles Schulz and others who became wildly successful without doing drugs.
6. What would be your main message to children today to lead healthy lifestyles?
Forget “peer pressure”! Any “friend” who can’t accept “no” for an answer is simply not a friend. Nothing is worth permanently damaging your mind and body. Marijuana has double the carcinogens (particles that cause cancer) than tobacco! Learn what drugs and alcohol actually do before you think they’re “no big deal.” The things you do now can determine the difference between a healthy and successful future and becoming another lowlife on “COPS”. Isn’t it better to enjoy the good things with a clear head? To remember those times? While others are busy with putting garbage into their bodies, you can spend the time getting BETTER at anything and everything you want to do. How cool is that?
7. Do you have a web site you would like to promote….web address only?