Kids vs Parents: Who’s Healthier?

Dr. Pat’s Healthy Kid Zone

Many people are asking the question: Are today’s kids healthier than their parents were at the same age?  The answer is Yes AND No.

  • Yes, we have better medicines to treat diseases
  • Yes, we have less diseases because of  vaccines
  • Yes, we have better safety laws to help prevent injuries
  • Yes, we have more knowledge about diseases

But, let’s look at what medical experts are predicting:

Today’s children may be the first generation that doesn’t live a longer life than their parents!

1 out of 3 kids born in the year 2000 or later will have diabetes at some point in their lifetime!

 Here are some more shocking facts:

  • Almost 1 out of 3 children are overweight
  • Children are getting an average of 7 ½ hours of media time (TV, computer, texting) a day
  • Children are getting an average of 3 “junk food” snacks a day!

So if kids aren’t going to live as long of a life as their parents mostly due to unhealthy eating and not getting enough physical activity, I’d have to say that kids ARE NOT as healthy as their parents when they were the same age.

I see it everyday: Teenagers with Type 2 diabetes, children with high blood pressure, high cholesterol, and liver problems.

Let’s DO SOMETHING about it!  Start with your family, then your child’s school, then your community.  For the sake of our kids, we need to change what is the social norm of inactivity and unhealthy eating.  We can do it together.  But, we need to take those first steps and then just keep on walking!  I challenge you to start with these 4 basic tips;

1.    Serve at least 5 servings of fruits and vegetables a day

2.    Serve at least 5 servings of fruits and vegetables a day

3.    Limit your child to no more than 2 hours of screen time a day

4.    Encourage at least 60 minutes of physical activity a day

5.    Avoid soda and sugar-sweetened beverages

We can add more healthy goals later.  But, if everyone just followed the above recommendations, our kids can live LONGER lives than we live and be HEALTHIER overall!

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