Our readers have chimed in with an excellent question!

Mary, from Greensboro, asked the question:

“My 8 year old has struggled with his health and weight for years. How can I get him to make healthier choices?”

This is a great question and one of the biggest challenges I face as a health practitioner; helping parents get their kids started on a healthy path at an early age. Where I start though is not with the children, but with the parents. If the parent isn’t educated and living a healthy lifestyle how can they expect their kids to? The problem is that our current healthcare system has taught us to wait for symptoms to appear, treat the symptom, and when the symptom is gone we are told we have regained our health. The reality we face however is that the symptom is potentially just a sign of a deeper, underlying issue. The greatest health challenge we are facing with our children here in America, is that there has been an exponential increase in obesity, cancer, ADHD, and autism. Childhood obesity has more than doubled in children and quadrupled in adolescents in the past 30 years. This is a problem. The solution is to understand where true health comes from and uncover the potential sources of these diseases. It’s time to change what we’ve been taught and redefine what we believe about health. The simplest solution to having a healthy-minded child is to start with you, the parent.

Time-magazine-inflammationThe cover story in Time magazine, February 2004, was Inflammation: The Silent Killer. This article pointed to the fact that inflammation at the cellular level is the source of many diseases. So where does inflammation come from? There are countless sources of inflammation; however here are the top three that you can decide to change today.

1. Sugars
2. Bad/Rancid Fats
3. Toxins

Sugar is highly inflammatory for our body and causes weight gain, hyperactivity and attention issues, body and joint aches, allergies, and digestive issues. Bad fats, such as hydrogenated and overly processed oils, suffocate our cells and cause fatigue, hormonal imbalances, brain fog, and memory loss. Toxins are everywhere in our homes, schools, and workplaces. Toxins cause metabolic and hormonal imbalances in the body leading to excess weight gain and hard to lose weight. They also can a host of issues dealing with everything from allergies and asthma to fibromyalgia and arthritis.

Parents this is for you; the answer is simple. Start with getting yourself healthy and involve your kids in the process. Educate them on these top three dangers and include them with any healthy lifestyle changes. The homework assignment you have this month is to Identify, Replace, and Remove these sources of inflammation in your household. Start with the easiest things to replace first such as water instead of soda at the dinner table, and veggies and hummus instead of cookies and crackers. It all starts with a change of your mindset and a simple push in the right direction.