Overweight and obesity are responsible for about 120,000 cases of cancer in the United States each year. Nearly 1 in 2 Americans develops cancer at some point in their lives.
Although cancer touches many of us, many parents and health educators are unaware that prevention starts early – in childhood, or even in utero! Diet can affect not only your health, but that of generations to come. Last month, I spoke about healthy eating strategies for parents and educators in a webinar, working with AICR.
Here are some highlighted tips for cancer prevention:
- Eat more beans. They’re packed with phytochemicals and fiber –both, which can play a role in disease prevention. To cut back on sodium in canned beans, rinse them first. It decreases the sodium content by as much as 40%.
- Find creative ways to move more! Have a “dark party” with your kids and their friends. Buy a pack of Glow-sticks and give each child a couple, crank up the volume on their favorite dance tunes and turn off the lights!
When we hear the words high cholesterol, high blood pressure, or heart disease, we often imagine older adults, not children! But with today’s technology, we have the power to spot the early signs of heart disease before any symptoms manifest, and the results are shocking.
By measuring cholesterol in healthy children, and examining the arteries of kids and teens that have passed away, we have learned that heart disease start young- very young. In one study, 70% of overweight children had at least one risk factor for heart disease, and 39% had two or more factors.
Risk factors include high blood pressure, high cholesterol, high triglycerides, and insulin resistance. The more risk factors one has, the greater the chances of developing heart disease that damages the cardiovascular system. As overweight and obesity increased, the proportion of children with at least two risk factors increased from 5% to 59%. And excess weight starts early, with more than one third of children and adolescents now overweight or obese.
This holiday season teach your kids how to bake healthier desserts without compromising taste.
The CDC shows kids today consume an excessive amount of sugar, with teens ages 14-18 trumping all other age groups with an intake of about 34 teaspoons a day. The roughly 550 calories those teens consume each day provide no nutritional benefit for cognitive and physical development, and potentially may be harmful. Young children are not trailing too far behind, either. Kids ages 4 to 5 consume on average about 17 teaspoons a day.
Get your kids in the kitchen! They won’t refuse to help out when preparing desserts. Use the time cooking together as an opportunity to teach basic math to little ones or organizational skills to older kids. Cooking also teaches kids about self-sufficiency, a life long skill with the potential to increase their health as adults.
Here’s 7 tips for making healthier desserts. Continue reading