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Childhood obesity causes health problems for kids while still kids

Mar. 29, 2013 @ 11:15 PM

"Fat Kid Rules the World," a 2012 indie film about hope, change and self-esteem, looks at teen obesity and behavioral problems. But while it's deeply moving, it doesn't show how devastating obesity is to a kid's body -- and not 20 years down the road, but today.

We now know obesity is related to delayed bone development, joint and muscle problems, asthma, headaches and ear infections. Obese preteens can develop heart disease by age 15 or 16! And overweight kids are three times more likely to have high blood pressure.

But kids don't want to be fat. So what's the deal? Well, Mom and Dad, if you're overweight, there's an 80 percent chance your kids are, too. So if you want to keep your child healthy and happy -- and what parent doesn't -- it's time for a family get-fit plan!

Change how you grocery shop: no prepared food; only fresh or frozen veggies. Eliminate all lunch meats, bacon and red meat; buy skinless poultry and fish (not fried). Choose nonfat dairy products and no (you have to read every label) high fructose corn syrup, added sugars or sugar syrup. Say bye to fast-food stops: Kids who eat fast food three times a week have more asthma, hay fever and eczema.

Cook and eat together at least four nights a week. It increases every aspect of a child's health -- physically, emotionally and socially.

Start a family walking program; work toward the goal of each getting 10,000 steps a day. Every evening, hit the pavement together.

Mehmet Oz, M.D. is host of "The Dr. Oz Show," and Mike Roizen, M.D. is Chief Wellness Officer and Chair of Wellness Institute at Cleveland Clinic. To live your healthiest, visit sharecare.com.

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