Help kids develop healthy habits - KCBD NewsChannel 11 Lubbock

President's Prescription

Help kids develop healthy habits

The World Health Organization identified obesity as a global epidemic in 1997.  By 2008, the W-H-O estimated that more than a billion people over the age of 20 are already obese.

That's why Dr. Tedd Mitchell is taking time out from his duties as President of the Texas Tech Health Sciences Center to make a house call this evening.  Dr. Mitchell says that parents owe it to their kids to help them develop healthy habits. 

If parents were to receive a report card for keeping our children healthy, many of us would get failing grades. Currently, nearly one-third of kids between the ages of 2 and 19 are overweight or obese.

Carrying extra weight is hard on a child's body and mind. It raises the risk of heart disease, diabetes, excess fat in the liver, and orthopedic problems. Plus there's the psychological effect, which is kids want to fit in, and they need their peers' acceptance.

So, to improve your report card:

  • Clean up your own act.
  • Children learn what they live, and you're the teacher. A family that eats healthfully and exercises together can grow old and be healthy together.
  • Retool how you cook.
  • Emphasize fruits and vegetables, lean cuts of meat and low-fat dairy.
  • Avoid 'portion distortion.

It's not only what your kids eat, but how much they eat that counts. Don't push extra helpings. Teach them to eat until they're satisfied, not uncomfortably full.  It's a great idea to limit sedentary downtime.

Our bodies are made for movement. Play catch, take a walk, or go for a swim. The options are limitless. I'm Dr. Tedd Mitchell, and this is the President's Prescription.

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