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AUTOPSY findings on “healthy” children, as young as four and five, who were victims of accidents, already showed evidences of arteriosclerosis (hardening of their arteries), a condition we expect to see only in adults.

There must be something we, parents and society are doing wrong.

When we prepare to bring forth a child into this world of potential infirmities and disabilities, we want to avoid possible congenital defects, or damage to the DNA of the fetus, no matter how minor or subtle, due to our thoughtlessness, carelessness, indifference or patent unhealthy behaviors.

We want the best conditions possible for our future child in order to protect its DNA and maximize the ability of this new life to ward off common major diseases (obesity, diabetes, heart disease, stroke and cancer) when they grow to adulthood, middle age and beyond.

This leads to my proposal in my new book for parents, society, governments to institute a pre-emptive and proactive health strategy that starts from “Ground Zero,” even before conception starts.

After all, the race does not start in the middle of the track.

We must get into the race early on, at the starting line, in order to ward off diseases.

The postmortem findings above are self-evident, a testament of our failure as a society in protecting our children and their DNA.

When the baby is born, it must be nurtured with a healthy diet, the best one being mother’s milk, from one who lives a healthy lifestyle and with a team mate who is likewise health-aware and protective of the baby.

The pandemic of infant obesity in our midst is greatly due to the character and quality of milk they are fed.

Milk from cows fed with wheat, corn, soy, plus hormones, antibiotics and other additives are totally deficient in good omega-3 and contain high level of “bad” omega-6, which causes an unhealthy imbalance in of the ratio of these two in the human body.

Normally it should be 1:1, but in this case, it is 1:15 or as high as 1:40.

Omega-6 causes our body to store fats and induce inflammation, which promotes high cholesterol level, hardening of the arteries, and blockages in them as years go by.

This imbalance also results in an increased risk for the development of arthritis, diabetes, cardiovascular diseases, Alzheimer’s, and a variety of deadly cancers.

So, whatever junk foods or chemicals the sources of milk, either the mother or the cows, eat or use, the baby drinking the milk from either, also gets the same “contamination” in its system.

Grass-fed cows yield quality milk and meat with a healthy balance of omega-3 and omega-6.

The same goes true with the eggs and meat from chickens that eat healthy feeds, without hormones and other additives.

Chickens fed with corn, which is a most common practice today, produce eggs with lower levels of essential fatty acids compared to more than half a century ago.

A New England Journal of Medicine article reported that eggs from corn-fed chickens have 20 times more omega-6 than omega-3, a most unhealthy ratio.  

Before babies climb out of the crib, their obesity cannot be blamed on the hamburger and French Fries restaurants.

But thereafter, when we, parents, unwisely introduce them to these “vendors of saturated fats,” these “heart attack food stores,” as some people correctly label them, the dilemma begins.

A bad habit is born!

And many of us parents, out of our love to please our children, too often succumb to their “demand” for a fix of unhealthy saturated fats.

When children develop a taste for red meat and other fatty foods, which are not really essential food items and which we can actually live without, they lose interest in, and even “hate,” anti-oxidant-loaded and immune system- boosting vegetables, nuts, whole grains, fruits.

At this point, they are well on their way to obesity, arthritis, diabetes, high blood pressure, heart attack, stroke and even cancer, as they grow to middle age.

Unfortunately, the damages to their tender bodies are not immediately obvious.

They show up 30 or 40 or 50 years later, when obesity sneaks in, arthritis begins to hurt, blood pressure starts to climb, blood cholesterol and blood sugar levels shoot up, and coronary arteries and arteries to the brain start to clog up, causing heart attack or stroke, or Alzheimer’s.

The same adverse effects come from children’s lack of parent-inspired discipline and interest in physical exercises and from their learned-addiction to the couch, television, as they binge on unhealthy carbs (chips, soft drinks, ice cream, sweets, etc.) and processed foods.

Exactly just like what many of us parents, their model and idol, do.

This puts the onus squarely on the parents of children, who are totally “at the mercy” of national health policies and of these adults, whose good or bad habits and behaviors will inevitably be emulated by these youngsters.

It is in the five formative years of the children up to age 12 when instilling proper discipline and behavioral modification are most effective.

Almost all diseases known to man today are self-induced or self-inflicted, and are, therefore, preventable.

Unfortunately, many of us seemed to have unwittingly programmed our mindset and behavior to a self-destruct and slow-suicide mode.

I propose that this negative surrender and fatalistic attitude are what we must change as a society.

The pandemic of obesity, arthritis, diabetes, cardiovascular diseases and cancer are evidences that our conventional preventive strategy against diseases the past half a century has been miserably inadequate and ineffective.

Anyone not positively contributing to the well-being of a child under his/her care, for whatever reason, including love, is literally cutting short the life span of that youngster.

Poor lifestyle choices on our part as parents, and by society in general, are bad examples which negatively impact our children.

Unless we, as a society, wisely recognize, accept and remedy our fundamental flaws in parenting, our adult children, like those of the past generations before them, will continue to suffer the ravages of preventable diseases and premature death.

***

This is an excerpt from the new book, Let’s Stop “Killing” Our Children, available for viewing at philipSchua.com, a great gift idea for Christmas.

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Comments  

 
+1 #1 L.P. Pelayo 2011-12-03 15:25
Informative column Dr. Chua. Excellent information.
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