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Obesity Culprits - Stop these Bandits!!!

By Justine Strauss, BS

 

Obesity ratesamong ouryouth are climbingand there doesn'tseem to be a solutionin light. Because ourchildren are watching more televisionthan ever, they are exposed to foodadvertisements 4 to 6 hours a day.Advertisers know this and push foodadvertisements that focus on high-fat,sweet, salty foods and carbonatedbeverages. Consequently, fruit andvegetable consumption is at anall-time low for our kids.Not only does television watchingpromote poor food choice habits but itreduces physical activity to practicallynone. Studies now show, due to videogames, television, telephones, theInternet, the lack of parentphysical interaction, andnon-participation insporting and leisureactivities, our childrenare experiencing thefollowing health hazards:

• Decrease in insulin-likegrowth factor-I (IGF-I)

• Decrease in growthhormone (GH)

• Decrease in serotonin levels

• 3-fold risk of hypertension

• Decreased sleep quality

• Mood (depression)

• Type II Diabetes

• Heart Disease

These are startling facts withcatastrophic impacts on the health ofour youth and their future mortality.It is shown that for eachhour of lost quality sleep, theodds of obesity increase by80%. Poor sleep patterns andhabits also contribute to alack of physical activity. A3% decline is observed whenquality sleep is altered. Itbecomes a vicious cycle ofinactivity and lethargy. The lessactive our children are, the moreunmotivated they become, lendingthemselves vulnerable to lying aroundwatching television for entertainmentand making poor snack food choices.They don't call it a 'dummy box' for nothing!