Act today; keep your daughter from having breast cancer tomorrow

Published: Tuesday, October 16, 2012 at 5:40 p.m.
Last Modified: Tuesday, October 16, 2012 at 5:40 p.m.

There's a long list of celebrities who've been diagnosed with breast cancer ญญ— including Kylie Minogue (36), Robin Roberts (49) and author Judy Blume (74). And this year another 200,000-plus North Americans will find out they have the condition.

But what, you may ask, does this have to do with my preteen daughter? Research shows that girls with excess weight and insulin resistance have a much greater chance of developing breast cancer. Unfortunately, more than 30 percent of kids are overweight, and that's a trigger for Type 2 diabetes (insulin resistance is part of that), heart disease ญญ— and, yes, breast cancer. We know you want to help your daughter stay healthy. Here's how:

Eliminate the five food felons. That's drinks and foods with added sugars or syrups; all grains but 100 percent whole grains; trans fats (in prepared and baked foods); and most saturated fat (from four-legged animals, two-legged animal skin, and palm and coconut oils).

Serve up three meals and two snacks a day. Kids with a steady supply of healthy food have fewer binges on fast food and stay trimmer. Make sure she gets plenty of omega-3s (in avocados, walnuts and canola oil) and omega-9s (in olive oil).

Get her up and moving. Kids 6 to 17 need at least 60 minutes a day of mostly aerobics (walking, playing outdoor games), plus bone-strengthening (jumping rope or running) and muscle-building (gymnastics for kids under 14; light weightlifting for older kids).

When you fuel her with good stuff and teach her how to make smart lifestyle choices, she'll thank you for decades!

Mehmet Oz, M.D., is host of "The Dr. Oz Show," and Mike Roizen, M.D., is chief medical officer at the Cleveland Clinic Wellness Institute. For more information, go to www.RealAge.com.

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