Pimento Cheese, Not Your Grandma's Spread

Pimento cheese is one of those foods that has been so corrupted by the food industry that it has become synonymous with other crappy foods like Spam.  I'm not even certain what store bought pimento cheese might contain, nor do I want to find out.  It's a shame because pimento cheese can be a delightful treat, even if it does Read the full post…

Plum Good BBQ Sandwiches

In a few days it will officially be fall but the temperatures are still warm enough for me to continue swimming for a few more days.  The breeze was a little cool but that didn't stop me from swimming several laps this morning and I felt great afterwards!  Have you exercised lately?  With fall's cooler temperatures and fewer insects, you Read the full post…

Shingles Vacine and Treatment

A friend of mine was recently diagnosed with shingles so I felt I should discuss this nasty virus once again.  If you ever had chicken pox, you are at risk for getting shingles and believe me, you don't want it.  Shingles is a painful rash with blisters that scab over and may take 4 weeks or more to heal.  The Read the full post…

Vegetarian Tacos are muy delicioso!

There are times when I think I could easily become a vegetarian, especially when I try a new dish that is as good as the vegetarian tacos I had at Local Lime restaurant in Little Rock and the tofu fried rice at Sai Tai here in Jonesboro.  My husband and I celebrated our 23rd anniversary this past weekend by spending Read the full post…

Midyear Health Check

Summer is winding down , the year is more than half way over and our January resolutions are long forgotten.  It's time for a health reality check.  First of all, how is your health lately?  If you have enjoyed good health, are you thankful?  Take some time to appreciate how wonderful it feels to be healthy, for your family to Read the full post…

Vacation Lessons For A Healthier Life

  I'm back from a lovely beach vacation and I wish I was still there with all my heart.  Wouldn't it be nice if our every day life was as nice as a vacation?  If we could relax, eat well, sleep and exercise just enough without having to worry about bills, work, illnesses and school, our lives would be perfect.  But Read the full post…

I wonder what the future holds for America’s children.  The state of American health is not improving and in the next 10 to 20 years, we will start seeing the results of our own neglect.  We want the health care system and doctors to magically fix all our health problems but we certainly don’t want to pay for it.  I read a study yesterday that revealed that 50% of overweight teens and 60% of obese teens have at least 1 risk factor for heart disease.  Really?  Isn’t heart disease something that happens to old people?  During the period from 1999 to 2008, the percentage of teens between ages 12 and 19 with diabetes or pre-diabetes rose from 9% to 23%.

Growing up in the 60′s, I never saw obese children or adults or knew anyone who wasn’t 75+ who had a heart attack.  You just didn’t see these things.  In college, there were two morbidly obese students but they were an oddity and stood out in stark contrast to the rest of the student population.  I read another small study that showed that obese adolescents already had damaged hearts with thicker walls and impaired function.  Children are also developing high blood pressure.  Really, isn’t that another problem for old age?  We are shortening the lifespan of our children willingly.

Yes, I say willingly because if parents refuse to educate themselves about health and refuse to take charge of health factors well within their control, they are contributing to the early death and health problems of their children.  What factors are within our control as parents?  Smoking.  Set an example.  Don’t smoke yourself and teach your children about the dangers of cigarette smoke.  If you smoke in front of your children, you are saying that you don’t care if you give them asthma, cancer or contribute to any other health problems. Exercise.  Everyone needs exercise to maintain a healthy body.  Make sure the whole family gets off their butt, away from the TV and computer and gets moving several times a week.  You might have fun as well.  Weight.   Quit kidding yourself about your weight and that of your family.  Throw out the junk food and eat some fruit and vegetables.  Learn about good nutrition and teach your children to eat a healthy diet.  It is your responsibility as a parent, not the government or the school system.  Do it because you love your children, because you care!

I did not say any of this would be easy but then being a parent isn’t for sissies anyway.  If you take your child to the doctor because they have a runny nose, why do you overlook more important problems like their waist size or the fact that your smoking is causing their runny nose in the first place?  Stopping smoking will free up money in the family budget to be used in better ways like purchasing fruits and vegetables.  If you quit purchasing chips, sodas, candy, cookies and fast food, you will have more money to buy “real” food that is more nutritious.  And yes, someone has to cook.  Cooking at home using real food, not processed food out of a box filled with fat, salt and preservatives is the only way to eat a healthy diet.

So think about it.  Our kids could be middle aged by age 18 or 20 because they are heading for their heart attack at age 40.  Along the way, they will suffer horribly from diabetes, kidney problems, high blood pressure and low self esteem.   And we as parents are driving them there as fast as we can.

WHY are we talking about teens and heart disease in the first place?

Upadated on May 22, 2012

One Response to “Why Are We Talking About Teens And Heart Disease?”

  1. Lisa Tedder says:

    Excellant article and at the heart of what I feel is the cause of the no. 1 killer in us and and the world– heart dz.
    Barry Tedder,md

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