This one thing will make everything better…

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There, now I have your attention. What is that one thing that makes everything better? Are you thinking of a magic pill, potion or App on your smart phone? The answer is sleep. I know you were looking for some magic bullet that would be easy to take. That bullet does not exist.
How much should we get?

There are many recommendations and protocol about health that are pretty much baseless. For example, how much water we need or how long you should hold a stretch for. Well in regards to sleep there is little debate that adults need 7-8 hours and kids 11-12 hours of sleep every night. I will often hear from my patients, “I am good with 4 hours of sleep.” Well you may feel OK in the moment, especially if you start your day with caffeine. But trust me under your surface your body is calling out for help. Most people understand that our bodies run on a biological clock. There is no more crucial time on the clock than at night when your body literally goes to work to heal itself.

To optimize sleep experts recommend the following.
1. Avoid watching TV or using your computer at night—or at least about an hour or so before going to bed. TV and computer screens emit blue light, similar to daylight. This tricks your brain into thinking it’s still daytime, thereby shutting down melatonin secretion.
2. Sleep in darkness. Also avoid using night-lights, and cover up the display on your clock radio.
3.Keep the temperature in your bedroom below 70°F. Aim to keep your bedroom temperature between 60 to 68 degrees, and identify the best room temperature for you through trial and error.
4. Take a hot bath or shower 30 minutes before bedtime.
5. Check your bedroom for electro-magnetic fields (EMFs). If electrical alarm clocks or other gadgets must be used, keep them as far away from your bed as possible, preferably at least three feet.

10 surprising — and serious — effects of sleep loss.
1. Sleepiness Causes Accidents
Sleep deprivation was a factor in some of the biggest disasters in recent history: the 1979 nuclear accident at Three Mile Island, the massive Exxon Valdez oil spill and the 1986 nuclear meltdown at Chernobyl. But sleep loss is also a big public safety hazard every day on the road. Drowsiness can slow reaction time as much as driving drunk.
2. Sleep Loss Dumbs You Down
Sleep plays a critical role in thinking and learning. Lack of sleep hurts these processes in many ways. First, it impairs attention, alertness, concentration, reasoning, and problem solving. This makes it more difficult to learn efficiently.
Second, during the night, various sleep cycles play a role in “consolidating” memories in the mind. If you don’t get enough sleep, you won’t be able to remember what you learned and experienced during the day.
3. Sleep Deprivation Can Lead to Serious Health Problems
Sleep disorders and chronic sleep loss can put you at risk for:
• Heart disease
• Heart attack
• Heart failure
• Irregular heartbeat
• High blood pressure
• Stroke
• Diabetes
4. Lack of Sleep Kills Sex Drive
Sleep specialists say that sleep-deprived men and women report lower libidos and less interest in sex. Depleted energy, sleepiness, and increased tension may be largely to blame.
5. Sleepiness Is Depressing
Over time, lack of sleep and sleep disorders can contribute to the symptoms of depression. In a 2005 Sleep in America poll, people who were diagnosed with depression or anxiety were more likely to sleep less than six hours at night.
The most common sleep disorder, insomnia, has the strongest link to depression. In a 2007 study of 10,000 people, those with insomnia were five times as likely to develop depression as those without. In fact, insomnia is often one of the first symptoms of depression. Insomnia and depression feed on each other.
6. Lack of Sleep Ages Your Skin
Most people have experienced sallow skin and puffy eyes after a few nights of missed sleep. But it turns out that chronic sleep loss can lead to lackluster skin, fine lines, and dark circles under the eyes. Increases in cortisol and decreases in growth hormone increase the aging of your skin
7. Sleepiness Makes You Forgetful
Trying to keep your memory sharp? Try getting plenty of sleep.
8. Losing Sleep Can Make You Gain Weight
When it comes to body weight, it may be that if you snooze, you lose. Not only does sleep loss appear to stimulate appetite. It also stimulates cravings for high-fat, high-carbohydrate foods. Ongoing studies are considering whether adequate sleep should be a standard part of weight loss programs.
9. Lack of Sleep May Increase Risk of Death
Results published in a 2007, showed that those who had cut their sleep from seven to five hours or fewer a night nearly doubled their risk of death from all causes. In particular, lack of sleep doubled the risk of death from cardiovascular disease.
10. Sleep Loss Impairs Judgment, Especially About Sleep
Lack of sleep can affect our interpretation of events. This hurts our ability to make sound judgments because we may not assess situations accurately and act on them wisely. In our increasingly fast-paced world, functioning on less sleep has become a kind of badge of honor. But sleep specialists say if you think you’re doing fine on less sleep, you’re probably wrong.
For kids…. This list reads like the symptoms of ADD or ADHD. Sleep deprivation affects children in different ways than adults. Sleepy children tend to ‘speed up’ rather than slow down. Symptoms include:
• Moodiness and irritability
• Temper tantrums
• The tendency to emotionally ‘explode’ at the slightest provocation
• Over-activity and hyperactive behavior
• Daytime naps
• Grogginess when they wake up in the morning
• Reluctance to get out of bed in the morning.
Supplements to consider for sleep are Melatonin, Valerian Root and Magnesium, where the RDA is 420mg for men and 320 mg for women. I recommend a product called Natural Calm, but be careful magnesium is also a natural laxative.
Melatonin is a powerful sleep aid. It tells your body that it’s nighttime and it’s time to go to bed. Melatonin is a powerful hormone. Many may mistake its power for that of a sleeping pill and feel compelled to take more for better sleep. However, at the wrong dosage, melatonin may actually destroy your sleep cycle. Too much melatonin at one time may also cause headaches, nausea, dizziness, or irritability. Valerian Root is also a natural muscle relaxer that aid in sleep.
Fitness trackers such as Fit Bit can be useful too. I suggest that of all the functions in those new gadgets you look at the sleep function first and foremost.

Exercise is also a potent tonic for sleep. 30 minutes daily in the bright sunlight will gear you up for a good nights rest. And as always get your spine and nerve system checked by a Chiropractor. Chiropractic care reduces stress in the body which allows for a good night sleep.
References:

1. WebMD

2. Mercola.com

3. Dr. Oz

Why waste away?

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Aging with Grace – Does the Fountain of Youth Exist? People are living longer. That is a fact. The average life span at the turn of the 21st century was 47. At the turn of this century, it is almost 80. The question you need to ask yourself is, “Do you plan on living a healthy fulfilling life, or one filled with doctor’s appointments for various illness and diseases?” Don’t we all love when grandma goes on and on about her digestive problems in gory detail, and then how she shares her multiple trips to many different specialists? “Dr. Jones is the best in the business,” is her response. “… Then why are you still suffering?” (The response in my head as I politely listen
Poor diet and poor lifestyle choices are what is driving the medical machine in our country. We are out searching for answers and cures to diseases that could have been prevented with better lifestyle choices.
Heart disease (597,689 deaths, CDC) and cancer (574,743, CDC) are the two leading causes of death in the U.S. The choices that you make everyday will predict the likelihood that you will die of one of these two.
Take control of your health. As your years pass, you will have such a better quality of life if you maintain a healthy weight by committing to daily movement. Getting off the couch to get another beer does not count! If you want to avoid age related illnesses even worse than heart disease and cancer, conditions like Alzheimer’s and senile dementia then get going now with these recommendations.
Mark Hyam, in his book, The Blood Sugar Solution puts it very clearly. 1. Avoid flour and starches as they act like sugar in the blood stream. 2. Include healthy proteins such as wild fish, beans, nuts and organic free range animals. Protein fuels metabolism and helps you maintain muscle mass. 3. Liberally consume high fiber foods such as green vegetables, nuts, seeds, berries, and beans.
4. Eat healthy fats. Those include omega-3 fats which are in fish oils and flax oils. Other healthy fats include coconut oil and olive oil. And stay away from hydrogenated oils, soybean oil, peanut oil, and palm oil. Stimulate Your Brain We used to think that you were born with a set amount of brain cells. If we burned them then we lost them forever. We now know that is NOT true. Your brain will grow and adapt to the stresses you put on it. What does this mean for you? Learn something new every year. Learn to play an instrument, do puzzles, and take some dance classes. You CAN get better as you get older. Decline with age is NOT inevitable. If you retire and then proceed to wear out your couch before you wear out a pair of running shoes then you are heading down the wrong road. When asking a group of people who turned 100 years old what their secret for longevity was, the two things that showed up most were that they were physically active either through exercise or work, and, they had deep meaningful relationships. So, by stimulating your mind and body, you unlock the door to the fountain of youth (you put “a groups”, did you mean “a group” or “groups”) The Role of Chiropractic The public perception of Chiropractic care is that we only treat the many painful muscle and joint problems. This is true, but symptomatic improvement is a byproduct of a healthy aligned and properly functioning spine. Your spine is the core of your body. What is in the center of an apple? It is the core. What is in the center of us? It is our spine, our core. Keeping this healthy and strong, moving will decrease the likelihood of pain and immobility in the future. How does this impact our life? You used to enjoy 18 holes of golf, now you are done after 13. You used to be able to get down on the floor and play with your kids or grandkids, now it’s a challenge just getting up off the floor. You used to like to walk with friends but your achey joints make it too much of a struggle. How many patients hobble into a chiropractor’s office complaining of aching backs or stiff arthritic joints? The evolution into anti-aging healing is logical for chiropractors. There are many great Chiropractors here in El Dorado Hills. Why not call one and see how Chiropractic care can help you.

Managing Stress – Chiropractic Style

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How Healthy Do You Want to Be?

Shhhh…. Can you hear it? It is quietly robbing you of energy, robbing you of your metabolism, robbing you of your life’s potential. It is called the “Silent Killer.” We all know about it, we all have it but what can we do about it. It is STRESS!

Your body’s ability to adapt to the different kinds of stress will determine how healthy you are. It will affect your body’s ability to fight disease and consequently how long you will live. This is my definition of health. It is not a matter of how you feel. Most people will say that felling good is the indicator of good health. This is wrong. Felling good is important but has nothing to do with your state of health. Disease develops silently in our bodies. Undetected by our senses until often times it is too late to do anything about it. Heart disease grows silently, cancer grows silently, back problems grow silently, and even cavities in your teeth grow silently.

There are generally 3 types of stress, physical stress, emotional stress and biochemical stress. Let’s take a look at all 3. These may seem obvious to you but let’s take a deeper look into these.

Physical Stress:
These can be in the form of old injuries that you may have or the chronic repetitive stress you put your body through everyday. The car accident you had when you were 17 or the 3 to 4 major injuries that you may have had that went untreated. This includes past sports injuries you had, the twisting falls on the soccer filed or getting your bell rung on the football field. There is a saying in Chiropractic, “Your body never forgets.” And you may forget about it but trust me these aches and pains won’t forget about you.

I see that many have the attitude that more is better when it comes to exercise. They will do boot camp 3 per week, hot yoga 2 days per week and trail running 3 times per week. This adds up too much stress. You gain the benefit of exercise when you rest and recover. Constant high intensity exercise never allows you to gain the full benefit. Have a rest day between intense exercise and see how you lose weight and fell better.

Emotional Stress:
This one may seem obvious and this is where most people think about stress. We have all uttered the phrases, “I am so stressed right now or quit stressing me out!” Stress runs deep. Who are you holding hard feelings for? Who do you need to forgive for past injuries? Who should you call right now and resolve that nagging problem. Are you satisfied with your place in life? Has your life turned out the way you planned or are you silently dissatisfied? These stresses held deeply are affecting us consciously and subconsciously.

Biochemical Stress:
What is this? These are the foods you eat, the water you drink, the cosmetics, sunscreens and perfumes you wear. Chemicals are everywhere in our environment. Read the labels in your deodorant, your hair gel or even you shampoo! What you put on you body you put in your body, never forget that.

Here are some easy practical steps to deal with the stress in your life.

Slow down a little each morning. Take 15 minutes a day. You can find the time when you schedule the time. During that time do 5 things.

1. Deep Breathing – “The Rule of 5”
-Take a deep breath in for a count of 5.
-Hold it in for a count of 5.
-Blow out for a count of 5.
-Repeat that 5 times. This calms your brain down when you slow your breathing down.

2. Visualize –Your mind cannot tell the difference between what is real and what is imagined vividly in your mind. See yourself in a positive light, doing the things that empower you and make you happy. Visualize your ideal client in detail, see that house that has been sitting on the market for 6 months selling, and see yourself the seller and the buyer at closing, actually signing the papers. Can you tell I take care of a lot of stressed out people in the real estate industry!

3. Positive affirmations – The world can be a harsh place, where the power of one negative can out weigh many positives. Start your day with a positive message. Program yourself for success.

4. Meditate – clear your mind, be alone and just be. Remember we are human BEINGS not human DOINGS. We are overburdened with never-ending to do lists. There is never enough time in the day to get everything done so quit fooling yourself. Put 3 things on your list not 11. Complete those tasks and enjoy the sense of accomplishment instead of the sense of dread when you did not finish the 11.

5. Be Grateful. Have an attitude of gratitude. Think about the little things. Your children’s health, your health, the love from your family, the fact that you have food and shelter… the basics. We always want more. There is nothing wrong with wanting better things for you and your family but if you live in the present and notice that where you are today IS your life, you gain a deeper appreciation for all that is right in your life now.

The body is self healing and self regulating; it is the nervous system that is responsible for this. The spine protects the nervous system. Changes and damage to your spine can create changes and damage to your nervous system. This will affect how your body self heals and self regulates. Chiropractors detect changes in your spine and nervous system. Once detected we gently correct those changes to your spine, removing the stress from your nervous system so your body can being to self heal and self regulate better. If you really want to distress consult with your local Chiropractor and discover the true benefit of stress relief and not the simple reduction of aches or pain. We can help there too but Chiropractic is so much more than that! You’ll see.

Water… How Much Do We Really Need?

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Water – How Much Is the Right Amount.
One of the most common questions people ask me is how much water should I drink everyday? Let me explain without drowning you in too much information.

You have probably heard these tales. You need to drink 8, 8 ounce glasses of water a day. Drinking 2 liters per day is the right amount. Have you heard that you should drink half your body weight in ounces?

The problem with these equations is that one size does not fit all. A 150 pound sedentary desk jockey is going to require a different amount of water than a 250 pound linebacker. The amount of water you need depends on activity and really boils down to your diet.

Most Americans eat too much processed foods which has lower water content, nor do they eat enough servings of water rich fruits and vegetables.

Some people drink milk, fruit juice, soda, coffee and tea. These beverages don’t count because the caffeine and sugar content. And yes your glass of wine every night does not count either; alcohol and caffeine causes you to lose water.

Your size, weight and level of physical activity determine how much water you need, so, in general, just drink when you’re thirsty. If you’re worried that you’re not getting enough water, make it your drink of choice at all meal times. This is especially true in the morning.

Keep these obvious facts in mind…

1) The temperatures in El Dorado Hills can sneak up on us. Most people are chronically dehydrated so when it’s hot your water demands go up and you can get behind quickly. Drink water before, during and after playing sports, working out, or doing physical labor. This is especially true for kids. I recommend Nuun electrolyte tablets and have people avoid commercial electrolyte drinks like Gatorade and PowerAde. These have too much sugar, food coloring and are a poor source for electrolyte replacement.

2) Drink water if your urine is dark yellow, AND has an odor. If you don’t often feel thirsty, and you produce colorless to a light (straw colored) yellow urine each day then you’re probably drinking sufficient amounts of fluid.
3) If you have a slight headache, it might be dehydration. Try a glass of water before you pop an Advil.

If you don’t enjoy drinking water, try adding some fresh-squeezed lemon or lime juice, or a few slices of cucumber or spearmint to your glass.

Drinking a glass of water before every meal will help you to lose weight. It fills your belly so your stomach feels full and you will avoid overeating. Before you start the next fad diet to manage your weight, reach for a tall glass of water and see what your body does! At first you will be taking a few extra trips to the bathroom each day. Don’t give up yet – just keep drinking. Your body will rid itself of excess fluid it has been storing around your ankles, hips, thighs and even belly.
Hopefully these guides help you to estimate how much water to drink daily. If in any doubt consult your personal physician or a qualified dietitian. They can help work out the correct amount for you personally, taking your health and lifestyle factors into account.
Certain medical conditions can impair the excretion of fluids from the body so may require limited water intake. Examples are heart failure, and some kidney, liver, or adrenal diseases. Please check with a qualified medical practitioner regarding the amount of water you should be consuming per day if you have any known health issues.

Despite our kno…

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Despite our knowledge about health I look around and see so many unhealthy people. Heart diseases is on the rise, cancer on the rise, Diabetes on the rise, It is lifestyle we are talking about. Look at the research, the drug model is not working. Science shows us that. Thousands of drugs on the market with only a hundred or so that do any real good. Let’s get people off ineffective drugs, eat right, turn off your TV and get outside. And so overlooked in terms of your overall health is the health of your spine and nervous system. Chiropractic care is great at helping people with their aches and pain but that is not what it is designed for. It is designed to restore you to normal function and as an effect, your pain goes away. This is just the same way for weight loss. Your goal should not be to lose weight, your goal should be to adopt a healthier lifestyle and weight loss with be a noatural effect of this change. Spend money on weight loss? Spend the money on healthier food, Chiropractic care for a lifetime and a personal trainer and reap the benefits!

Happy Healthy Kids

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Raising Healthy Kids

 

In my last article I spoke about growing and obvious problems associated with obesity and children.  We are seeing adult type diseases showing up soon and sooner because of unhealthy lifestyle choices.  Despite our knowledge and access to information heart disease is still the number one killer of American and cancer is number two.

In this article I want to outline some healthy habits to begin in order to not only combat theses diseases but to actually build up healthy bodies and healthy habits that last a lifetime.

 

 

Lead by Example

 

Heavy kids usually have heavy parent. Studies have shown that a child’s risk of obesity greatly increases if one or more parent is overweight or obese families tend to have similar eating patterns, maintain the same levels of physical activity, and adopt the same attitudes toward being overweight.

 

Exercise

Current guidelines recommend that kids over 2 years of age get at least 60 minutes of moderate to vigorous physical activity everyday. That may seem like a lot but remember when you were a kid and you played outside until the street lights came on and your mom was yelling that dinner was ready, come inside! That hour includes playing tag, hide and go seek, climbing trees and wiffle ball in the front yard. All stuff my 3 kids are adept at.

 

Diet /Meal preparation:

 

With soccer, cheerleading and tae kwon do who has time to sit down and prepare a meal?  Preparation is the key word. Take a survey from the family about some of their favorite healthy meals and lay out the weekly menu.  Have a set time for all family members to sit down together. Homework done, TV off, hands washed and sitting down at 6 o’clock. I know this is easier said than done but if you don’t have a guide and a goal how will you ever make a change?

 

 

And avoid falling into these common foods/eating behavior traps:

 

Don’t reward kids for good behavior or try to stop bad behavior with sweets or treats. Come up with other solutions to modify their behavior, like positive reinforcement or special time with Mom or Dad as a reward.

 

Don’t maintain a clean-plate policy. Be aware of kids’ hunger cues. And realize that filling a child plate with an adult portion is an easy mistake to make.   Even babies who turn away from the bottle or breast send signals that they’re full. If kids are satisfied, don’t force them to continue eating. Reinforce the idea that they should only eat when they’re hungry.

 

Don’t talk about “bad foods” or completely eliminate all sweets and favorite snacks from kids’ diets. Kids may rebel and over eat these forbidden foods outside the home or sneak them in on their own. Dr. Sears talks about red, green and yellow light foods.  Green equal fruits and veggies eat as many as you like. Yellow are sometimes food these are things you may have from time to time such as ice cream, frozen yogurt and smoothies. Red lights are things that should be avoided such as doughnuts, soda and sugary cereals.

 

 

Media Exposure:

 

Media exposure is definitely a contributing factor to childhood obesity.  Kids are spending more time playing with electronic devices, from computers to handheld video game systems, than actively playing outside. Television is a major culprit. Kids younger than 6 spend an average of 2 hours a day in front of a screen, mostly watching TV, DVDs, or videos. Older kids and teens spend almost 4 hours a day watching TV, DVDs, or videos.  When computer use and video games are included, time spent in front of a screen increases to over 5½ hours a day for teens! In other words, for many kids, once they get home from school, virtually all of their free time is spent in front of one screen or another.

 

TheAmericanAcademyof Pediatrics (AAP) currently recommends limiting the time kids over 2 years of age spend in front of a screen to no more than 1-2 hours. The AAP also states that kids3 and under watch NO TV at all!

 

 

Recommendations by Age:

Additional recommendations for kids of all ages:

 

Birth to age 1: In addition to its many health benefits, breastfeeding may help prevent excessive weight gain. Breastfed babies may be more able to control their own intake and follow their own internal hunger cues. Begin to establish good bedtime patterns.

 

Ages 2 to 6:   Start good habits early. Help shape food preferences by offering a variety of healthy foods. Encourage kids’ natural tendency to be active and help them build on developing skills. When you feed them noodles and butter for each meal for example, that is all they want.  When you plop them down to watch “Baby Einstein” videos they get accustomed to the TV screen.  Continue to foster good bedtime rituals including reading to your kids.

 

Ages 7 to 12: Encourage kids to be physically active every day, whether through an organized sports team or a pick-up game of soccer during recess. Keep your kids active at home, too, through everyday activities like walking and playing in the yard, remember that hour per day. Let them be more involved in making good food choices, such as packing lunch and buying food at the grocery store. Kids this age still need 10-12 hours of sleep per night.

 

Ages 13 to 17: Teens like fast food, but try to steer them toward healthier choices like grilled chicken sandwiches, salads, and smaller sizes. Teach them how to prepare healthy meals and snacks at home. Encourage teens to be active every day.

 

Most of all let your kids know you love them — no matter what their weight — and that you want to help them be happy and healthy.

 

Those seeking additional information regarding this study may contact Steven Long, DC directly 4359 Town Center Blvd. Suite 213, EDH and telephone (916) 933-4507.

 

 

 

Resources: Info adapted from…

Mary L. Gavin, MD

Kidshealth.org

First5California.com

 

Best ways to keep your kids healthy.

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Raising Healthy Kids

 

In my last article I spoke about growing and obvious problems associated with obesity and children.  We are seeing adult type diseases showing up soon and sooner because of unhealthy lifestyle choices.  Despite our knowledge and access to information heart disease is still the number one killer of American and cancer is number two.

In this article I want to outline some healthy habits to begin in order to not only combat theses diseases but to actually build up healthy bodies and healthy habits that last a lifetime.

 

 

Lead by Example

 

Heavy kids usually have heavy parent. Studies have shown that a child’s risk of obesity greatly increases if one or more parent is overweight or obese families tend to have similar eating patterns, maintain the same levels of physical activity, and adopt the same attitudes toward being overweight.

 

Exercise

Current guidelines recommend that kids over 2 years of age get at least 60 minutes of moderate to vigorous physical activity everyday. That may seem like a lot but remember when you were a kid and you played outside until the street lights came on and your mom was yelling that dinner was ready, come inside! That hour includes playing tag, hide and go seek, climbing trees and wiffle ball in the front yard. All stuff my 3 kids are adept at.

 

Diet /Meal preparation:

 

With soccer, cheerleading and tae kwon do who has time to sit down and prepare a meal?  Preparation is the key word. Take a survey from the family about some of their favorite healthy meals and lay out the weekly menu.  Have a set time for all family members to sit down together. Homework done, TV off, hands washed and sitting down at 6 o’clock. I know this is easier said than done but if you don’t have a guide and a goal how will you ever make a change?

 

 

And avoid falling into these common foods/eating behavior traps:

 

Don’t reward kids for good behavior or try to stop bad behavior with sweets or treats. Come up with other solutions to modify their behavior, like positive reinforcement or special time with Mom or Dad as a reward.

 

Don’t maintain a clean-plate policy. Be aware of kids’ hunger cues. And realize that filling a child plate with an adult portion is an easy mistake to make.   Even babies who turn away from the bottle or breast send signals that they’re full. If kids are satisfied, don’t force them to continue eating. Reinforce the idea that they should only eat when they’re hungry.

 

Don’t talk about “bad foods” or completely eliminate all sweets and favorite snacks from kids’ diets. Kids may rebel and over eat these forbidden foods outside the home or sneak them in on their own. Dr. Sears talks about red, green and yellow light foods.  Green equal fruits and veggies eat as many as you like. Yellow are sometimes food these are things you may have from time to time such as ice cream, frozen yogurt and smoothies. Red lights are things that should be avoided such as doughnuts, soda and sugary cereals.

 

 

Media Exposure:

 

Media exposure is definitely a contributing factor to childhood obesity.  Kids are spending more time playing with electronic devices, from computers to handheld video game systems, than actively playing outside. Television is a major culprit. Kids younger than 6 spend an average of 2 hours a day in front of a screen, mostly watching TV, DVDs, or videos. Older kids and teens spend almost 4 hours a day watching TV, DVDs, or videos.  When computer use and video games are included, time spent in front of a screen increases to over 5½ hours a day for teens! In other words, for many kids, once they get home from school, virtually all of their free time is spent in front of one screen or another.

 

TheAmericanAcademyof Pediatrics (AAP) currently recommends limiting the time kids over 2 years of age spend in front of a screen to no more than 1-2 hours. The AAP also states that kids3 and under watch NO TV at all!

 

 

Recommendations by Age:

Additional recommendations for kids of all ages:

 

Birth to age 1: In addition to its many health benefits, breastfeeding may help prevent excessive weight gain. Breastfed babies may be more able to control their own intake and follow their own internal hunger cues. Begin to establish good bedtime patterns.

 

Ages 2 to 6:   Start good habits early. Help shape food preferences by offering a variety of healthy foods. Encourage kids’ natural tendency to be active and help them build on developing skills. When you feed them noodles and butter for each meal for example, that is all they want.  When you plop them down to watch “Baby Einstein” videos they get accustomed to the TV screen.  Continue to foster good bedtime rituals including reading to your kids.

 

Ages 7 to 12: Encourage kids to be physically active every day, whether through an organized sports team or a pick-up game of soccer during recess. Keep your kids active at home, too, through everyday activities like walking and playing in the yard, remember that hour per day. Let them be more involved in making good food choices, such as packing lunch and buying food at the grocery store. Kids this age still need 10-12 hours of sleep per night.

 

Ages 13 to 17: Teens like fast food, but try to steer them toward healthier choices like grilled chicken sandwiches, salads, and smaller sizes. Teach them how to prepare healthy meals and snacks at home. Encourage teens to be active every day.

 

Most of all let your kids know you love them — no matter what their weight — and that you want to help them be happy and healthy.

 

Those seeking additional information regarding this study may contact Steven Long, DC directly 4359 Town Center Blvd. Suite 213, EDH and telephone (916) 933-4507.

 

 

 

Resources: Info adapted from…

Mary L. Gavin, MD

Kidshealth.org

First5California.com

 

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