Right now, right here in America, we are experiencing an obesity problem of epidemic proportions. Two out of every three American adults are either overweight or obese - and this epidemic also affects children. Today, one out of every three children ages 2-19 is overweight or obese, and most of these children, because of this overweight condition will become diabetic. Diabetes is already epidemic among the children of America.
"The generation of children born in 2000 will likely live shorter life spans than their parents. Economic productivity of this generation will probably be less than their parents as well. Indeed, an obese adult adds $1,400 excess health care costs annually compared with his or her non-obese peers." ABC News Report; May 13, 2010The very future of our nation is at stake if this exploding waistline problem isn't halted. On January 3, 2010, Hallelujah Acres, in an attempt to slow down this rapid expansion of obesity, launched a 60-Day Challenge titled "60 Days to a Hallelujah Waistline." This 60-Day Challenge has been a tremendous success as over 7,200 people, from over 100 different countries around the world, signed up for the Challenge. And the testimonies of lost weight have been pouring in from around the world as a result of accepting this challenge. SHORTENED LIFESPAN This obesity epidemic is occurring at ever younger ages. Already one-third of all American children between the ages of 2-19 years are overweight or obese, which puts them at ever increasing risk of developing serious diseases that will shorten their lives. And the number of obese and overweight children is expected to continue to increase. Researchers tell us that by mid-century children will be living shorter lives than their parents because obesity will bring increased risk of obesity-related illnesses like diabetes, heart disease and cancer - lowering the average life expectancy by at least five years. Friends, we have a problem and rather than trying to treat the problem with doctor visits and drugs as is currently being done, let's look for the cause. If the cause is sought, found, and eliminated, then we can stop this scourge. And there is a cause, and we here at Hallelujah Acres know what that cause is. WHAT IS MAKING AMERICA FAT The cause of obesity and overweight individuals, both adults and children, can be traced to their diet and lifestyle. If you will compare the number of obese and overweight individuals today with the number of obese and overweight people of yesteryear, you will see there has been an ever increasing explosion of expanding waistlines. LET'S EXAMINE TODAY'S DIET & LIFESTYLE OF THE AVERAGE PERSON... When I was a boy, we did not have fast-food restaurants, or the availability of potato chips, corn chips, and the vast array of sugar loaded soft drinks and snack foods (or even vending machines where they could be readily purchased). Nor did we have televisions or computers. And even when junk food items started to become available, children did not have the money to purchase them or the cars to drive to stores where they were available. Rather we were active on the sandlot playing stick-ball after school and going on hikes and playing sports on weekends. Why even in school, gym class was a part of every day's schooling. But today, children have cars and money to buy junk food and sodas. Fast food restaurants abound and vending machines are everywhere. Instead of playing ball on the sandlot or going on hikes in the woods, today's children have televisions and computers and video games to occupy their time where all they do is sit. And in many of our schools gym classes have been sharply curtailed or eliminated All of this sedentary lifestyle and easily available sugar and fat laden junk food is creating a generation of overweight and obese children who are becoming overweight and obese adults. If you haven't seen the video "Supersize Me" you need to see what just a month on fast foods will do to a person's physical body and health. WHAT IS THE SOLUTION The solution is a simple one, but its implementation is not so easy. If parents do not want their children to be overweight or obese, they must teach their children the importance of proper diet and an active lifestyle. But parents must go beyond instruction; they must set the example in both a healthy diet and active lifestyle. Children become what parents do more than what parents say.
"Train up a child in the way he should go: and when he is old, he will not depart from it." (Proverbs 22:6)SUGGESTIONS TO PREVENT AND REVERSE OBESITY
- Eliminate all sugar laden drinks and foods. Soft drinks and all beverages containing sugar should be eliminated and replaced with pure water or occasional lemonade sweetened with maple syrup, honey, stevia, or Agave Nectar (use all concentrated sugars sparingly). Just the sugar contained in one 12-oz soft drink, if consumed daily for one year, will add 15-pounds of weight to the consumer and diet sodas create hunger.
- Eliminate sugar laden candy, deserts, and snacks. Sugar and refined flour products create overweight and obese people. Replace these sugar and refined flour desserts and treats with fresh fruit and healthy snacks and desserts.
- Eliminate or set strict limits or television time and monitor what they are watching. Also, set strict limits on how much time they can sit at a computer or play video games. Television sets and computers in a child's room ought to be forbidden.
- Do not allow your child to become a couch potato. Make sure that your child has at least an hour of vigorous exercise every day. If they resist, make it mandatory or they lose a privilege.
- Parents need to set the example in both diet and lifestyle. Prepare only healthy, non-fattening meals for not only your children but also yourself and make sure they see you getting daily and vigorous exercise. How about making exercise a family affair.
- Explain to your children the risks involved to their health by making poor diet and lifestyle choices. Do they really want to be fat and have to stick themselves every day with insulin or lose their eyesight? Point out to them possibly friends or family members who have experienced heart attacks or strokes or cancer or are diabetic and tie their health problems to bad diet and lifestyle. Teach them that bad diet and lifestyle choices have bad consequences.
- Make sure your child receives adequate sleep each night.
- Always have on hand healthy foods for snacks and rewards.