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Childhood Obesity: Chubby Is Not Equal To Healthy

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Cute is a word most likely used to describe chubby kids, but being chubby may not be cute after all as these kids may actually be among those having childhood obesity without their parents realizing it. Unfortunately, “obese” may sometimes be mistaken as “healthy” as some parents may have the idea that a visibly fat child is a healthy child.

Childhood obesity is believed to be on the rise and this problem is certainly becoming a fat one.

The World Health Organization (WHO) estimates that the number of overweight children under age five in 2010 is 42 million with 35 million found in developing countries. Obese children may likely remain obese as adults and will likely develop health problems like diabetes and cardiovascular diseases at a younger age according to the WHO.

But childhood obesity can be preventable, and prevention should start even when the child is still in the mother’s womb. The New England Journal of Medicine cites excessive maternal weight gain, smoking during pregnancy and shorter-than-recommended duration of breastfeeding as some factors associated with increased risk for obesity in infancy and early childhood.

During the infancy stage, less-than-12-hours sleep duration is also a factor. As the child grows, other factors come in. Foods high in fat and sugars but low in vitamins, minerals and micronutrients are widely available and provide a temptation that is hard to resist among children. With these foods around, unhealthy eating habits tend to occur. Add to this is the increasing trend towards lesser physical activity with increased TV hours and with playing time confined to a seat with the entry of video and computer games as well as increased urbanization.

Ask a child about their favorite snack and fruits are rarely mentioned. Try asking a child today about street games like “buwan-buwan”, “siatong” or, “tubig-tubig” and chances are, nobody is playing those games nowadays. Instead of spotting kids running on the streets, you will find toddlers to adolescents making their avatars run for them in “Temple Run” or “DOTA”.

It’s not just the children’s behavior that is to blame but the parents too. Some parents are actually contributing to the problem of obesity in their own children as they spoil their child with food and lots of it. “The idea that a big baby is a healthy baby, and a crying baby is probably a hungry baby who should be fed, are things we really need to rethink,” Dr. Leann Birch, director of the Childhood Obesity Research Center in Penn State said.

With many Filipinos working abroad, it is possible that there are also some parents who may make up for their physical presence by allowing a child to watch plenty of TV, or play video and computer games. Many parents become so busy at work that they often find less time with their kids, time which could have been spent for having family walks, biking, jogging and other physical activities.

The prevention of childhood obesity should be a multisectoral effort that should start within a family and should include schools, civil society and the private sector. Parents are very important for prevention to be successful. Early in life, mothers should breastfeed their children. They should promote healthy diets by making healthy foods and beverages available in their homes. The intake of fruits and vegetables should be encouraged. Healthy school snacks should also be served to children instead of packaged snacks. Having family meals together is also encouraged.

Parents should also promote a healthy lifestyle by acting as models to their children encouraging their children to engage in sports or perhaps do physical activities together. Television and computer time should be reduced.

Next to parents, the school plays an important role to reduce childhood obesity. Health education promoting healthy behaviors and creating a healthy school environment should be integrated. School canteens should offer healthy choices too. School gardens can be used as a tool to increase awareness about food origins and nutrition. Sports and fitness programs should be activated. Physical activity should be encouraged among teachers, parents, students and the entire community.

With these combined efforts, it is the hope that this childhood obesity epidemic will be put to a stop.

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How Much Sleep Do You Need?

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When you’re struggling to drop off, or if you’re battling the demands of work and home life, you can find yourself wondering how much sleep you can get away with. Is it ok to have just four or five hours or must you get a solid eight or nine hours every night?

If you’re suffering from insomnia, or just the demands of a newborn baby, you may be wondering – how much sleep do you need?

How Much Sleep Do You Need on Average?

This is a difficult question to answer as the amount of sleep a person needs depends on a lot of different factors like age, health and lifestyle.

Many people think staying up through the night to get work finished or to meet a deadline means they are being more productive but the science shows the opposite is true.

Without enough sleep, you are sluggish and impaired which means you work slower and make more mistakes. So, next time you’re struggling on a project, take yourself to bed and get some sleep. You’ll wake up refreshed and more creative – producing better work in the long run!

There is also a difference between the amount of sleep you actually need and the amount that is recommended for you to work at your best. While you can survive on fewer hours sleep, that is only a short-term solution and you should aim to get the optimum amount.

You might be able to carry on with only six or seven hours sleep for a few days but over time this will take its toll and you should be spending more time resting.

Some inherited factors like your genes can also affect how many hours of sleep you need to function at your best.

 

www.thesleepjudge.com

 

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Mx.

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In many official forms today, people are given gender choices: Mister, Miss, Mrs., Ms. plus that ambiguous word “Other,” about which I have always wondered. I know it to be a gender-neutral honorific but who actually ticks it off?

I need never wonder again.

According to Merriam-Webster, “Other” refers to those who do not identify themselves as belonging to a particular gender—or those who don’t want to be identified by gender.

Can you guess what this world-famous dictionary did to acknowledge “Other?” While we weren’t looking, it added an honorific just for him/her/whomever.

Pronounced as mix, this new word has been in the Merriam-Webster Unabridged since April 2016 and added to their online dictionary last September 2017.

While the word isn’t used as an official title globally yet, it is already recognized and adopted in the UK and soon other parts of the world may follow suit. Men and women can then freely use it.

And men and women will completely be mixed up. No more shall there be bad and good, rude and polite, correct and incorrect, man and woman, black and white—just all shades in between.

2018 will be cluttered and mixed-up with new words and new identities, reminiscent of our famous Filipino dessert called “halo-halo” (transliterated as mix-mix).

In one tall glass are many kinds of fruits and some vegetables in various colors and shapes with bits and pieces of native cakes thrown it, plus milk and sugar mixed in crushed ice and ice-cream.

More and more people will demand for ways to acknowledge themselves, their individuality, their  me-ness.

This is not at all surprising; it is not going to get better. Apostle Paul warned Timothy, “. . . that in the last days there will be very difficult times.  For people will love only themselves and their money. They will be boastful and proud, scoffing at God, disobedient to their parents, and ungrateful. They will consider nothing sacred.”  1Timothy 3:1-2 (NLT)

By grace, we can keep the faith.

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The Unspoken Word: Aging

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People often say to me, “You don’t look your age.” I don’t quite know how to react—smile or smirk. I am sure they mean well and want to make me feel good, but somehow, there’s a disconnect somewhere.

feel my age. Every single year of it. I feel it in my bones, in my muscles, in my eyes, in my ears, in my gums, on my scalp and on my skin—in every place of me.

Does that mean my body parts have aged before my looks?

Sheila Nevins (aged 78), an American television producer and the President of HBO Documentary Films, calls this “compliment” to women of a certain age as fairy tale. In fact, she wrote a satirical and hilarious book about women in this late life stage. She titled it: “You Don’t Look Your Age and Other Fairy Tales.”

When (or if) I get to be her age and still writing or training young writers in workshops and seminars, I will probably be hearing more “You don’t look your age.”

Our late househelp Manang Vi, whose oral bluntness was unrivaled, had doused my delight, “When people say that to you, they’re wrong.”

I replied, “You mean, they’re lying?”

She said, “No. They just don’t know what they’re saying.”

God bless her soul.

There’s a statement that I wish people would say instead, “You’re aging with grace.” But there’s a stigma attached to the word “aging.” You don’t dare speak it to other people’s lined face, unless you are a physician specializing in geriatrics.

The word grace does not come naturally in conversations, either—unless you are in Sunday school or a prayer meeting.

But since “You don’t look your age” seems to be the “in” thing to say to people whose looks have obviously transformed from a fresh plum to a dried prune through the years, I should be grateful.

Whatever changes my body (or mind) has gone and will go through, the only One that matters remains unchanged.

“I will be your God throughout your lifetime—until your hair is white with age. I made you, and I will care for you. I will carry you along and save you.” I Isaiah 46:4 (NLT)

 Grace D. Chong

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Source of Security

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During my first year of marriage, Raynie asked me the deadliest question spouses could ask one another: “Why do you love me?”

Now, I know that many of you think this question is sweet or cute or harmless. But I assure you, this can be a trap for any person’s insecurities. So before I tell you my answer, let me talk about why this question can be dangerous.

So many people judge themselves using worldly standards. That means they look at the mirror and assess themselves according to their looks, their accomplishments, their fashion, their intelligence, or even their social circles. That’s how the world judges.

When it comes to relationships, this becomes the standard by which people judge themselves and one another. I know it can happen to both men and women since both put their hearts on the line when they get to know one another. The man risks getting rejected while the woman risks feeling unwanted. So let’s ask the question again: WHY DO YOU LOVE ME?

When a girl asks that question to a guy, she is usually looking for security. For a christian girl to ask that from a christian guy? Oh, that’s a relational death trap. Here’s where the cycle of insecurity comes in.

Girls tend to think:
“I’m not good enough.”
“I’m not kind enough.”
“I’m not pretty enough.”
“I’m not smart enough.”
“I’m not intelligent enough.”
“I’m not successful enough.”
“I’m not sweet enough.”
“I’m not sporty enough.”
“I’m not sexy enough.”
“I’m not independent enough.”
“I’m not strong enough.”
“i’m not feminine enough.”

And guess what. At some point in your life, one or more of these statements will be true. There will ALWAYS be someone smarter, richer, prettier, funnier, sexier, stronger, kinder, etc…

When you compare yourself to others, you will ALWAYS lose. When you use the world’s standards to evaluate your desirability, you will always lose. When you use the world’s standards to find security, you will always lose. AND WHEN YOU ASK THE OPPOSITE SEX THIS QUESTION, and expect him or her to evaluate you based on worldly standards, you will BOTH lose.

Take at look at this cycle:
1- Why do you like me? (the girl is using worldly standards)
2- The guy thinks she’s pretty (the girl got her wish and got judged by worldly standards)
3- Someone prettier comes along (the girl loses and feels insecure)
4- She then gets angry at the guy (she blames him for using worldly standards to judge her)
5- She then looks for a guy who has lower standards, or improves herself to fit that standard
6- Repeat step 1

AND THIS GOES FOR MEN AS WELL AS WOMEN!

The solution? Stop judging yourself and evaluating yourself using worldly standards. Instead, judge yourself based on the Gospel of the Lord Jesus Christ. You are valuable not because you’re rich or funny or successful, BUT BECAUSE THE GOD WHO CREATED THE UNIVERSE DEEMED YOU VALUABLE ENOUGH TO BEAR THE CROSS OF CALVARY. We are sinners, deserving of wrath, yet received grace from God when we repent of our sins! How does that change things when it comes to our relationships? Well, for starters, we realize that we do not and will never deserve a spouse. We will never deserve receiving another human being as a gift, to love us despite our sinfulness. AND YET GOD BECAME MAN TO LOVE US AS ANOTHER HUMAN BEING. The result is humility. Not pride. We won’t feel that we deserve to be loved, and yet will receive love with a humble and grateful heart!

Secondly, because our value and security is in Christ and His cross, we won’t feel threatened that others are richer, smarter, funnier, and etc because every other person is just a richer sinner, a funnier sinner, a prettier sinner, a more successful sinner… and when we see this, the playing field is leveled for everyone. We are all in need of grace. We are all the same. And in that sense, there’s no need for competition.
So please, don’t settle for a guy or a girl who loves you based on worldly standards. You might think it would be better than being lonely, but trust me. Marrying a guy or a girl for the wrong reasons will only INCREASE your loneliness. Why? Because you won’t be with a guy or girl married to you. Not really. Instead, you’ll be with a guy who is married to your face, or your bank account, or your sex appeal, or your wits, or whatever it is that he married you for.

Don’t judge or evaluate yourself using worldly standards, and don’t ever allow others to do so. Rather, base everything on Christ’s Cross. And be with someone who wants to be with you for the right reasons. But what are the right reasons? Well, let me answer the question my wife asked me: Why do you love me?

My answer?

“Because God placed a love in my heart for you.”
“Because I see Christ being formed in you.”
“Because I see Christ being formed in me through you.”

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