Doubling in incidence over the past 30 years, and increasing an astonishing four-fold amongst adolescents, childhood obesity is now an epidemic in America. Make no mistake about it, this isn’t just a cosmetic issue. These children have a profoundly increased risk for a variety of associated medical problems including asthma, diabetes, and even high blood pressure, not to mention the fact that they will likely end up as obese adults with a higher risk for dieases like Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s, stroke, cancer, osteoarthritis and heart disease.
Clearly, the diets of our children have changed – radically. It makes perfect sense, from a biological perspective, to blame the dramatic rise in carbohydrate and sugar consumption for these issues. That’s why we’re all over the idea of promoting a higher “good” fat and low-carb diet for adults and children alike, but there’s another factor to consider.
Research now shows that changes in the gut bacteria, the microbiome, play an important role in increasing risk for becoming overweight or even obese.
What a concept! The bacteria living inside a child’s intestines help govern metabolism and determine, to some degree, whether a child will become overweight or not.
So it means we should consider doing all we can to nurture and protect the balance of bacteria living within ourselves and within our kids. That means not choosing to give children antibiotics with every sore ear or sore throat, not treating acne with oral antibiotics for months or even years at a time, avoiding chlorinated water, and even adding in a good probiotic to their nutritional supplements.