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If you remember your childhood, you know that it was filled with many hours spent outdoors playing with friends. Of course, this was back in a time where there was little fear of the dangers of strangers. Over the past twenty years or so, there...

In a recent study it was found that girls are entering puberty at a much earlier age than ever before. It is hard to believe but, girls even as young as seven are going through puberty nowadays.   The reason for puberty affecting girls at earlier ages...

In today’s world, everyone lives a very busy lifestyle making it seemingly impossible to fully commit to a healthy meal plan. Many people end up succumbing to fast food or freezer food (myself included). As a result, obesity is continually increasing in the United States...

Being obese almost doesn’t feel out of the ordinary anymore. In 2009, it was found that approximately 2.4 million more people were suffering from obesity than in 2007. This number is still growing to date. In Canada which is neighboring to the United States, the...

Gestational diabetes mellitus (GDM) is an overwhelming complication some women may face during a pregnancy where the body does not produce enough insulin to deal with a high blood sugar level. GDM is one of the most common conditions affecting pregnant women, affecting approximately 1 in 10 expectant women [1]. Since rates of GDM is higher in overweight women, this condition has been on the rise alongside obesity. However, if this condition is diagnosed and treated early, a healthy pregnancy can be ensured.

To understand diabetes, in general, is to understand the function of the hormone insulin. Insulin regulates the metabolism of fats and carbohydrates and helps transform sugar into energy. Diabetes usually occurs when there is insufficient insulin produced which causes high levels of glucose in the bloodstream.

For people with GDM, insulin is usually blocked by hormones found in the placenta.

Research has shown women over the age of 35, who have a family history, or are overweight are more prone to exhibit GDM [1]. Being overweight is the main factor because the extra mass prohibits insulin’s ability to function in keeping blood sugar levels up to par.

[1] Gestational Diabetes during Pregnancy. What to Expect. Retrieved from: http://www.whattoexpect.com/pregnancy/gestational-diabetes/

If you remember your childhood, you know that it was filled with many hours spent outdoors playing with friends. Of course, this was back in a time where there was little fear of the dangers of strangers. Over the past twenty years or so, there has been a growing concern of child abductions. While this is a legitimate fear, is this something that parents should be concerned about as much as they are? Before taking away your child’s right to play, maybe we should look at the facts.

Keeping kids inside the house is only enabling them to hurt themselves in other ways. It’s no wonder childhood obesity rates are rising the way they are. Two thirds of parents are unaware of the fact that their children should be getting at least sixty minutes of exercise per day! Keeping children indoors also leaves children with little to do.

Statistically, a child is abducted or goes missing every forty seconds. While this seems quite frightening, most parents don’t know that children who run away are also included in these statistics. Children who are known to run away may attempt to do so as many as forty times a year on average. Therefore, the data can be misleading.

Real “stranger danger” incidences are extremely rare. It is estimated that there were a total of 115 stranger abductions in the U.S in 1999; that is approximately one in 650,000! Though child abduction is certainly a relevant fear, it is a little over hyped.  Decide for yourself if it really something society should worry about as much as it does? Or would it make more sense to worry about things like the rapidly climbing child obesity rate, or perhaps teen suicide?

Precocious or Early Onset of PubertyIn a recent study it was found that girls are entering puberty at a much earlier age than ever before. It is hard to believe but, girls even as young as seven are going through puberty nowadays.

 

The reason for puberty affecting girls at earlier ages seems to be because of ethnicity and BMI (Body mass Index). For example, African-Americans generally entered puberty before Caucasians. Also, those with a higher BMI tended to undergo puberty before girls with a low BMI.

It is also believed that girls influenced by more Endocrine- disrupting compounds (EDCs) which are in a number of everyday products have a greater chance of earlier puberty. Unlike, ethnicity and BMI, EDCs are a risk factor not yet proven.

Earlier puberty has been linked with the development of breast cancer. Research shows that women who had their periods at an early age are at higher risk of suffering from breast cancer. This is based on the fact that many women who currently have breast cancer also got their periods at a young age.
Further research is taking place to figure out what exactly is causing puberty to hit girls at an earlier age. As for now, only precautions can be taken by girls and their parents.

It is recommended that young girls stay fit and healthy as a greater BMI is definitely linked to entering puberty faster. In the United States for example, obesity has greatly increased in children over the years and this is responsible for the current situation.

Healthy Living

In today’s world, everyone lives a very busy lifestyle making it seemingly impossible to fully commit to a healthy meal plan. Many people end up succumbing to fast food or freezer food (myself included). As a result, obesity is continually increasing in the United States making it more important to establish healthy living so that oncoming generations can change this growing trend of obesity.

Despite all the obstacles we face in everyday life, if we commit to eating well, then nothing should be able to change that. There are many techniques that can be used.

Organize a Meal Plan

Plan out what you are going to eat for the rest of the week or half of the week, whatever you prefer. In your meal plan, incorporate the meals you are going to eat out (try to make healthy choices). Your meal plan should include the time or meal of the day, the name of the dish you will cook, the ingredients needed, and where to find the recipe. For example, on page 212 in “Healthy Cooking”.  Having a meal plan will allow you to be faster and more efficient. No more time spend dwelling on what to eat.

Make a Grocery List

As you walk through a grocery store, the more things you look at the more you want. You will end up buying many items that you probably hadn’t initially thought you would. If you have a grocery list handy with all the things you need then you will be able to head straight over to these items and avoid scanning the shelves for other unnecessary items (in most cases junk food).

Breakfast, Breakfast, Breakfast

Breakfast is undoubtedly the most important meal of the day. However, many people end up skipping this meal because of their busy lifestyle. Breakfast should never be missed, even if you have to wake up a little earlier for it. You could even prepare your breakfast the night before so that you do not have to rush in the morning. Another great idea is to take something on the go like a fresh fruit smoothie or a healthy baked muffin.

Don’t Eat Late

For many people, working late is a part of their day-to-day life. The best thing to do is to take a break at around 7:00 pm and have your dinner then. If you feel hungry when you go home, grab some fruit or veggies to eat. Nuts would also be a nice tasty little snack. If it so happens that you cannot get a break at the said time and have to eat a meal at night when you come home, it is recommended you eat something light. Soup is a good choice as it is not too heavy but yet fills you up. Homemade soup is the best. You could prepare some and even freeze them in separate containers (one serving size each) so that you can use them when needed. Now that’s good freezer food! If you have to rely on a can buy something very low in sodium and fat.

Family Participation

As a family there is so much you can do to facilitate healthy living. Cooking together is a great way to bond within a family and have everyone work together as well. For those that have children, having them help you prepare dinner or lunch would be a great way of teaching them the right types of food to eat and what a balanced diet is all about. This is probably the best way to pass it on to other generations. For example, if your children always see you eating chips or what I call lazy food such as chicken nuggets and frozen pizza then in the future they too will lean towards those types of foods.

Diabetes is a fairly common disease that millions of people in the United States are living with each and every day. While diabetes is manageable, the cost of medications to do so can often become difficult to afford. However, results from researchers at Johns Hopkins University may be very promising to certain people suffering from diabetes.
Researchers observed 2,235 adults living with Type 2 diabetes, which is generally associated with being overweight, who received stomach-reducing surgery. What these researchers discovered was that after only 6 months, almost 75% of those who received surgery were no longer taking their diabetic medications. Furthermore, 2 years following the surgery, 84.5% of those who received surgery were now free of their diabetes medication or in many cases, multiple medications.
Not only were many of these patients able to experience a significant decline in their weight after the surgery, they were also able to experience a significant decline in their healthcare costs. With the price of medications in the United States being as high as they are, reducing or eliminating the dependence of medications can make such a difference in a person’s life.
However, researchers made another interesting discovery while observing these patients. While they found that stomach-reducing surgery allowed patients to stop taking their diabetic medications, they found that this became possible even before patients began to experience weight loss from the surgery. This could support theories that suggest that surgery actually alters the stomach hormones, allowing them to control blood glucose levels more effectively.
While there are certain risks associated with this surgery, for diabetics, the benefits may heavily outweigh the risks. In the end a person should discuss the options with their doctor, family, then weigh their options and decide what will be best for themselves.

Obesity Rates Rise Even HigherBeing obese almost doesn’t feel out of the ordinary anymore. In 2009, it was found that approximately 2.4 million more people were suffering from obesity than in 2007. This number is still growing to date. In Canada which is neighboring to the United States, the percentage of obese people is less than half of what it is in the United States.

The US is composed of 50 states. Each of which has an obesity rate of more than 15%. Also, nine of the 50 states have an obesity rate of over 30%! From this one can see that not one part of the United States is suffering from this but rather the whole entire country.

The only way to get rid of this health condition would be to raise more awareness. Healthy eating ad regular exercise should be promoted and incorporated into one’s everyday life. In the past years, this has been happening. Many fast food chains are now displaying how many calories one gets from eating their foods and many “light” versions of different foods are available in grocery stores.

I think many people who are currently suffering from obesity would agree with me when I say that once a person gets to the point of obesity, it is extremely difficult to lose the weight and takes a lot of determination. The best thing to do is take all precautionary methods and establish healthy living before it is too late.

5 Ways to Prevent Obesity

1) Eat a balanced diet: Incorporate all the food groups into your meal plan. Do not go on any diet that deprives your body of certain nutrients that are necessary for your body. Also, try to limit the intake of fast food. Taking daily multivitamins is also beneficial for most people.

2) Stop consuming junk food:  Instead of munching on salty chips try out some fruits or some veggies with dip. Orange and dark green vegetables will benefit you greatly.

3) Exercise on a regular basis: In order to exercise you do not need to be an athlete. Even something as little as going on a walk will do a lot for your body. Exercise will not only benefit your physical health but also your mental health.

4) Drink water: Water is a great means of cleansing your body. It is recommended to drink about 6- 8 cups of water a day.

5) Shop Effectively: When at the grocery store, do not let your cravings get the better of you. Purchase items without refined flour, refined sugar, and with minimal amounts of additives.

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