Obesity is the most common chronic disease in children. This is tragic because it’s entirely preventable, since we’re responsible for what goes into our children’s mouths.  Sadly, the largest increase is in children aged 2-5, and the number of obese children has tripled since 1980. More and more children are being diagnosed with adult diseases like hypertension, high lipids, diabetes, fatty liver, joint pain, and breathing problems.  Also, they suffer from low self-esteem and depression. No parent wants this for their children.

Would you do this to your child?

Then why are we doing this?

The reason is, we are unwittingly feeding them the foods that directly result in fat gain.  This pattern of eating has come to be known as the Standard American Diet (SAD).
It’s a diet that consists of bad fats (omega 6s), refined grains, processed foods, and added sugar. Opposite from our ancestors, whose diets were filled with fruits, vegetables, nuts, poultry, pasture roaming meat, and fish (Paleo). It’s sad indeed that the products of the SAD are much less expensive than real food – the Paleo Diet.  These products have exploded onto our grocery shelves with colorful, attractive labeling that make them irresistible. The World Health Organization recommends no more than 25 grams (6 teaspoons) of added sugar a day (in any form). One serving of most breakfast cereals have 10 or more … and many of us can’t resist stopping at one serving!

When we consume more sugar than we need, our liver turns it into fat. This happens with an abundant release of insulin, secreted by the pancreas. Insulin’s job is to maintain our blood sugar level within a fine line of 74-106. Every time you raise it above this, a process is set in place to begin the building blocks of obesity and diabetes.  Eventually, our pancreas tires of shipping all this insulin. Like our hearts, that are designed to have so many beats, our pancreas is designed to deliver a finite amount of insulin. When the extra glucose hits the liver, it turns into fat, churning around inside the liver and clogging its circulation. Then it’s shipped off like a coal train to the infinite storage unit we have called fat.

The more high sugary foods you feed your children, the more fat they consume. This is a big secret, because it hurts the marketing of these high sugar and highly processed
products. Ideally, I’d love to see these companies bring products made from almond and coconut flour, which have little impact on our blood glucose. This doesn’t mean that we
have to take away all these products that our kids are used to (does the phrase “that’s all my kids will eat” sound familiar? Lol). Instead, gradually give them less, and add more
of the Paleo options to their plates. The medical cost of having an obese child aged 10-18 is $19,030 while the cost for a normal weight child is $12,660. This doesn’t factor
in the thousands of dollars they’ll spend if they remain obese as adults. Unfortunately, most obese kids remain obese adults. We need to change that!  We’ve got to get our kids outside, playing. We’ve got to play with them ... ball, chase, hop scotch, anything that gets them moving. Take them for walks and eventually runs, and bike rides. We all need the sunshine. The most important thing you can do is to show your child how to live and eat healthily by doing so yourself. Presenting healthy foods and physical activities will set them up on a healthier, happier, and longer life!

An excellent resource to learn more about Paleo for children is at www.thepaleomom.com by Sarah Ballantyne, PhD. Sarah’s the author of ‘The Paleo Principle’ – a prime resource for me. I recommend anyone with children and anyone who wants to burn off fat to check it out.