The medical world is reeling at the shocking news of a three and a half year old who has been diagnosed with type 2 diabetes.
How the heck did this happen?
I'll tell you how: the child's terrible diet – and parents with a poor diet too.
Type 2 diabetes in younger children is on a steep increase, with one study seeing a 30% increase in a period of eight years.
As a doctor, parents come to me for advice about children's problems all the time.
But what they don't understand is the root of all childhood disease is ultimately poor diet and poor gut function.
This then affects the rest of the body.
It's very hard to get parents to implement diet strategies, because so many parents find it so hard to not give into a child, especially when they're throwing a tantrum and wanting a certain food.
These days, too many children effectively run the households with what they want and how they want to eat. Once the pattern is set from a young age, it's hard to break.
But, if you want a healthy child that isn't sick all the time, you need to go through that horrible stage you've actually created. Uncreate that habit of eating bad foods, and create a habit of eating good foods.
I see the bad habits; even with parents I have given advice and treatments to. They go home and implement supplements, medicines, and some dietary changes — but not all. They then bring the child back and say, “Little Sarah is still getting sick, and we're doing everything right. We're taking all the medicines and supplements, but it's not working.”
Unfortunately, taking medicines alone aren't going to do much if the child is constantly eating the things that are making them sick in the first place. It's a bit like an alcoholic saying they want a healthy liver, yet refusing to give up the drink.
I then ask more about the child's diet, and they always say they're doing everything right and have a perfect diet, yet while in your treatment room, there's little Sarah eating a packet of Tiny Teddies (sweet biscuits), sucking on a lollipop, or eating some highly processed food in order to keep them distracted, because they can't sit still. Probably from all the sugar they have been ingesting. It's such a vicious circle.
The next thing you know, little Sarah is off to the ENT (Ear, Nose and Throat) specialist, to have grommets put in, and her adenoids and tonsils taken out. If only her parents had not given in to what the child wanted, and acted on what was best for the child.
A healthy diet and lifestyle changes can prevent most kids from having many of these childhood illnesses and unnecessary surgery 99% of the time. That is a fact. There is always an exception to the rule, but most children’s problems stem back to poor diet, poor lifestyle choices and being too sedentary.
This is the iPad generation, who aren't even going outside much anymore.
So this why we're seeing three and half year olds with type 2 diabetes, and why we have a children's obesity epidemic. Not to mention that 70% of adults in this country are now overweight too.
Anyone who has kids might want to watch “Wall-E” because this is where we are heading.
Have a look at this YouTube clip about King Curtis:
Chicken nuggets for breakfast, lunch and dinner, just because King Curtis wants them. But giving our children cereals and other highly processed foods is just as bad.
As a father, I know all too well how hard it is to parent and get children to eat good foods. I totally get it.
But, I also choose to be a parent before a friend, and not give in to what my child thinks they should be eating, but rather, choose to give what a child actually needs. I am the parent, and am responsible for the health of my children.
This is why I choose to always adopt a clean eating, primal/paleo eating diet and lifestyle for my children. Sure, my kids get treats every now an then. But, they are treats, not an every day and every meal option.
We really need to wake up with this soft parenting thing so many of us are doing. It isn't healthy for anyone. We have gone too far the other way, and it's coming at a great expense to our future generation's health and fertility. This will come at a huge expense and burden to our health care system, that can't afford to support us as it is.
Healthy diet = healthy kids. Healthy kids = Healthy adults.
Repeat these words as much as necessary. Create the habit early, before we end up seeing a generation having to be buried long before their parents. It's a harsh reality we may actually have to face if we don’t start doing something about it.
It's such a hard subject to talk about, but it needs to be said, because I actually care about where our future is taking us. I care about our children’s health and their future.
Remember, be the parent first and foremost – put the friend party hat away. This can be a challenge if you didn't have healthy food modelling growing up. But we need to break this nasty cycle, or we're all just going to end up fat, sick or both.
Need some inspiration? Here are 13 healthy breakfast ideas.
See the news article as reported in Medical News Daily.
Articles posted on BellyBelly which are not written by Doctor Andrew Orr are the opinions of BellyBelly and not necessarily the opinion of Doctor Andrew Orr.