Ashley McPhie: The ever-growing generation


Published: Monday, April 8, 2013 at 6:01 a.m.
Last Modified: Friday, April 5, 2013 at 7:10 p.m.

People come in all shapes and sizes, but lately I'm seeing just one size: overweight or obese.

As a pediatrician, I see children who are facing diseases that used to only occur in adulthood. Middle school students are learning how to treat their Type II diabetes.

This epidemic is called obesity. Is there someone to blame? The list could be endless. Social networks, video games and overall technological advancement could be to blame for encouraging children to stay inside in front a screen.

Or is it the caregivers for placing the children in front of the screens? Sometimes it's easier to get things done around the house with the children in front of the television.

What about fast food restaurants without healthy options? Or is it the schools without recess? The truth is there are several reasons our children are overweight and obese. The better question is what can we do about it?

I remember a time when children would go to a place filled with imagination and adventure. Do you remember this place? It's called outside. Encourage your children to play outside and make new friends face to face and not by online friend request. Thirty minutes of vigorous running outside can go a long way.

While we are making changes, let's say no to sweet tea and soda! These are what I call empty calories with no nutrition but all the goodies to make someone overweight. Now what about those pesky fast food restaurants that line Archer Road? Let's try limiting our visits and choosing healthy options if they're available.

We all want the best for our children. So let's give them a chance in the future and equip them with healthy arteries and hearts. The change starts at home and with you!

Ashley McPhie lives in Gainesville.

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