Frank Mikulka's

Weekly Fitness Tip

August 18, 2003

Melanie from Huntington asks: My thirteen year old daughter fits the profile of the overweight child. She sits all day watching TV, playing on computer and of course, eating fatty, sugary foods. She hates vegetables. I am not just concerned about her appearance, but I am also concerned about her cholesterol levels and future health. Help!

First off Melanie, you are not alone. About 10,000,000 of our future adults are overweight including small children and almost three times as many teens. The problem has to do with fast foods, snacks and convenience. So, I think if parents become more involved, these areas can be changed. We, as parents, must guide our children on proper nutrition and how to make the right food choices.

Medically, fat does increase the chances of heart disease, high blood pressure and diabetes. And finally emotionally, there is the issue of self-esteem because our society favors the thin and says that fat isnít cool. But donít worry, letís get physical!

Therefore see that your child begins some physical activity to burn calories. For example, school sports and dance lessons. Active children are healthy children. A good way to start is to make it a family affair. You walk; theyíll walk. Join in family activities. Play ball, go on a hike, do family relay races. In a few years they will be gone; treasure these healthy bonding moments. Remember a child is always watching what you do!

Again, itís a team effort. Find the time to make the difference!

Listen to Frank Mikulkaís Weekly Fitness Tips every week on Debbie Mandelís Turn On Your Inner Light Show every Sunday morning from 10:30 to 11:00 AM on WLIE 540 AM in New York City