Avoid the Dinosaur Syndrome and Extinction

By Suzanne Holman • March 24th, 2011

We all know the demise of the dinosaurs … they became extinct!

Think of the anatomy of the dinosaur.  They were huge creatures and had very small brains.

Ironic that what research is showing us is that as our bodies get more and more overweight, our brains get smaller.  Dr. Daniel Amen came up with the "Dinosaur Syndrome" name to paint a clear picture of the danger of being overweight. 

With obesity comes more frequent diabetes, sleep apnea, and often high blood pressure.  All of these health problems are associated with a higher incidence of Alzheimer's disease and other forms of dementia.

Dr. Amen has written a number of books, the most recent one  The Amen Solution: The Brain Healthy Way to Lose Weight and Keep It Off.  And he recently opened an online site that offers ongoing support to those who choose to take the steps to get their weight down to a healthy level.  

Recently, I heard Dr. Amen talk about a church he has helped to create a program for weight loss.  Saddleback Church is one of the largest churches in the United States.  Richard Warren, author of The Purpose Driven Life, is the pastor there.   They have a comprehensive website to support their congregation in getting fit.  Here is a link to Dr. Amen talking about the Dinosaur Syndrome:  http://www.saddleback.com/blogs/thedanielplan/avoid-the-dinosaur-syndrome/

When adults take the lead to eat consciously, children see this as an example of what is the appropriate way to eat and will follow suit.  The current statistics on obesity in our youth is disturbing.   Below are some statistics from the William J. Clinton Foundation, an organization that “focuses on worldwide issues that demand urgent action, solutions, and measurable results," that will open your eyes to this huge problem.

 

  • Almost 25% of our children do not participate in any free-time physical activity.  
  • Less than 25% of high school students take daily physical education classes.
  • Healthcare payouts are three times higher for treatment of obese children
  • Nearly 25 million children are overweight or obese
  • Currently, there are five times more obese children, ages 6 – 11, than forty years ago

 

Think of the heath problems that will develop for these young people if they do not change their lifestyle.  Health care costs are high now but, what will they be in another 15 -20 years when these young people are going into their middle ages and older years.

 

It's a wonderful thing that attention is being brought to this issue at the high level of Michelle Obama. There are efforts being made all over the country.  

Kids love dinosaurs but, will they love having the Dinosaur Syndrome which results in shorter, unhealthy lives?


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Comments

Great topic!  With the issue increasing so quickly, parents really do need to be aware of the example they set for their children. I have to say I was amazed when I had a discussion with one women, who was not a mother, that felt that what "the Obama's" were doing was ridiculous. It never ceases to amaze me how out of touch some are with this issue.
The Food Issue/Solution is very complex so it is important to be educated rather than resist because of political views. Even as adults, we don't want to operate with a smaller brain when we know how to prevent that from happening.

 

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