The culture we live in is taking a toll on the health of our young people. Some facts from the latest surveys and some best tips:
In 2012, 33%, or one out of three, children and teens were found to be overweight or obese. Empty calories from foods such as pop, pizza, ice cream and desserts provide 40% of total daily calories for 2-18 year olds. Obesity-related illnesses are showing up at younger ages, including high blood pressure, diabetes and heart disease. All of these diseases come with a lower quality-of-life cost to the person as well as a large price tag due to increased medical care.
BEST TIP: Be a good role model for your children and grandchildren! Eat healthier food, choose smaller portions and include children in discussions about and preparation of healthy food.
Physical Strength Decline
Children start decreasing their physical activity after the age of 7, a new study has found. Activity gradually declines year by year, while screen time increases. In 2008, children in the UK were found to be physically weaker than children 10 years earlier. Ten year olds could do significantly less sit-ups, as well as having lower arm strength and grip strength.
BEST TIP: Walk, bike and go to the playground with children. Encourage safe climbing activities. Plan active weekends and active vacations.
High Blood Pressure
A recent survey found that 19% (1 out of 5) of young adults have high blood pressure and it is increasing in children as well. This disease has potentially serious consequences to health, such as the early development of heart disease or stroke, yet it is often not checked or treated in youth.
BEST TIP: Talk about blood pressure with the young adults in your family.
Diabetes is expected to increase significantly in young people in the next decade. Recently a survey found 75% of young adults with type 2 diabetes have already developed at least one complication caused by uncontrolled blood sugar levels.
BEST TIP: Healthier eating, increased activity and weight control are the keys to avoid or treat diabetes.
A recent study has found that “colon and rectal cancers have increased dramatically and steadily in young and middle-age adults in the US”, according to a Feb 2017 article for USA Today. Obesity, inactivity and poor diets are thought to be the main suspected causes.
BEST TIP: Topeka Pharmacy is here to help! Call for more information about Diabetes and Weight Loss Classes.