From the monthly archives: "July 2009"
Finally, a useful suggestion for health reform–tax sodas! Well, by golly…I think they’ve got something there: Tax the nutritionally inert liquid sugar that Americans are severely addicted to, and yes, a solution. One solution. Small solution. But a great start.

Here are the facts. Sodas are the number one consumed beverage in the United States. They contain about 100 calories and ten teaspoons of sugar. Diet sodas add their own twist. While having zero calories, a large study conducted at the University of Texas Health Science Center in San Antonio showed that people who drink diet soda regularly are 41% more likely than regular soda drinkers to become obese. What??? You heard right, the zero calorie drink actually makes people more susceptible to obesity; and it’s because of aspartame, the artificial sweetener, that people pack on the pounds.

According to researchers, aspartame fools the body into thinking it will be receiving sugar–an energy source–but that sugar never comes; so the body is left wanting. What happens next is that our diet soda drinkers reach for something to satisfy that sugar urge, and they overindulge. Not convinced? Then ask yourself why the discrepancy in physicality. Why are diet soda drinkers anything but emaciated? Hmmmmm….

Since soda–diet or regular–is garbage, and it’s contributing enormously to the obesity problem (and consequently, outrageous health care costs), then why not tax it? We tax tobacco, alcohol, and mary jane (oh yeah, not yet), why not the simple syrup? Americans drink enough soda that a tax would generate an estimated “100 to 200 billion dollars over a 10-year time frame.” Sounds like a no-brainer to me.

Listen, health care cost are significantly related to lifestyle behaviors. If you want to socialize health care, then don’t just punish everybody across the board; tax those most negligent. Tax the smokers (I’ll pay my share), the boozers, and the junk food junkies. My position has always been, “Don’t just single out the fast food restaurants; nail the soda manufacturers too.” That’s fair–and accurate. Bingo.

And I’ll be pleasantly surprised if they ever get how much the chronic pharmaceutical drug users cost us–you know, people who prophylactically or habitually take statins, antidepressants, or any other drug that doctors are pushing on the public like the sky’s the limit. Yeah, tax all those negligent people involved in making our system “broken”.

Put this in your socialized health care pipe and smoke it–men who do heart-pounding exercises regularly are less likely to develop cancer. Yeah, you got it: more exercise, less cancer; less cancer, less cost. Quick, call your congressman–get health club memberships subsidized. Uh…dream on.

Nobody yet is pushing real health care reform, one where actual health enhancement finds its place in a national bill. Why not, you may ask? Because it’s a political and money game being sold to the public as concern for the greater good. Sure it’s about people…suuuuurrre!!! That’s why all the big money players are positioning themselves like never before. Insurance companies, pharmaceutical companies, AMA–all former opponents to universal health care are now on board hoping to get it all into place. Think there’s some money to be made?

I wouldn’t be against this whole sham if I didn’t know that it isn’t going to change a thing that’s worthwhile. Same old medicine, same old s@$#. Findings like the one in the title of this post get a quick mention and then back to, “how can we sell more drugs, surgeries, procedures, politics, bull turds…?”

Here’s how: The latest findings came from a study out of Finland that looked at more than 2,500 men and their exercise habits for one full year. They followed up with the same men sixteen years later. They found that the men who exercised the most–not sissy exercising, either; intense exercise, stuff that made them sweat–were half as likely to develop cancer than the men that exercised the least. The researchers attributed the lower cancer rates to an increase in oxygen consumption. The cancers most reduced were of the stomach or intestines, lungs, prostate and brain.

I find this study very exciting. To me it makes real sense as to where our focus should be. But guess what: I’M ALONE! Nobody, and I mean nobody (OK, besides former Health and Human Services Secretarial Nominee, Tom Daschle) is looking at this information and realizing where health care needs to go to become “affordable”. The big sham is thinking that if we all pick up the tab for those who choose to not exercise, not lose weight, not get off heavy duty drugs (both pharmaceutical and recreational), not moderate their alcohol intake, not eat well, not get chiropractic care, not fix their relatively minor physical problems before they become major ones, and so forth, then everything will be alright–and cheaper in the long run. What a frickin’ joke.

French President Nicolas Sarkozy was hospitalized today for “falling ill” and fainting while jogging. French authorities have disclosed that their president suffered from a minor vasovagal episode while running at la Lanterne, the presidential retreat at Versailles. He was taken to to the military hospital at Val-de-Grâce in Paris for observation, and doctors there say he will “undergo supplementary testing.”

A vasovagal episode, or vasovagal syncope is a fainting spell that can be caused by many things. It involves the vagus nerve, a cranial nerve that connects the brain and the abdomen. The vagus nerve controls and coordinates various organs including the heart, major blood vessels and the muscles of the larynx (speech). Vasovagal episodes are the most common cause of fainting.

Several things can cause a vasovagal fainting episode. A few notable causes:

  • Prolonged standing or upright sitting, particularly when standing with legs in a locked position for long periods of time—avoidance of long-term locking of one’s legs in the standing position is taught in the military as well as in marching bands and drill teams.
  • Standing up very quickly
  • Stress
  • Hyperthermia, a prolonged exposure to heat
  • Sudden onset of extreme emotions
  • Hunger
  • Nausea or vomiting
  • Dehydration
  • Random onsets due to nerve malfunctions

Does anybody notice pattern here? Uh, water…um, hydration…water…nerve function…water. My guess is that Prez Sarkozy was running on empty; he was probably subclinically dehydrated. The French, like many people, drink dehydrating substances–liquor, caffeine–and if water levels are not replenished, then it’s easy to go into a water deficit. A water deficit doesn’t have to mean clinical dehydration–a medical emergency–but it can.

Even so, subclinical dehydration is serious enough to cause fainting, among other symptoms and disorders. I devote much ink to subclinical dehydration in my book, The Six Keys to Optimal Health. Without a doubt, at least 50% of incoming patients to my Los Angeles, Beverly Hills, and West Hollywood chiropractic practice are operating at a water deficit. In a sunny and warm-weather climate like Southern California, being poorly hydrated is playing with fire. I’ll bet it is in Versailles, too.

Anyway, Sarkozy is likely going to be fine. He’s a regular exerciser, often photographed while jogging with his entourage. Nevertheless, he is being looked at and evaluated by his doctors. Although the French President is routinely checked physically, his last reported health exam at the beginning of July where he had normal blood and cardiovascular tests, he was briefly hospitalized in October 2007 for treatment of angina (chest pain).

The take home lesson here is for everybody to make sure they are sufficiently hydrated. Two liters of water per day is a good baseline. And if you are exercising in the heat, you might need more. Don’t mess around, stay hydrated–it could save your life.

Yup, I adjust my children. Children need chiropractic, too. Keeps them healthy and functioning properly. Subluxations cause nerve dysfunction and dysregulation, so adjusted children function at their highest capacity and potential.

Delilah fell down the stairs Wednesday–did her best Chevy Chase tumbling impression. Three year olds are pliable and rubbery, so she’s okay. Don’t get me wrong, I don’t recommend it, but…well, it happens. Thursday my wife brought her by the office for an adjustment. Check out the pics and you be the judge. Violet got her’s too!

If you’ve got kids, the best thing you can do is get them started on chiropractic care early. Just saw a beautiful 16-week-old boy, Conner, in my office today. He wasn’t all too pleased with my hands on him, but it’s important to get him used to it now. Once he begins doing his own stair stunts, he’ll be primed and ready for his after-tumble adjustments.

So visit your local chiropractic office today (if you are in Los Angeles, Beverly Hills or West Hollywood, I’m your chiropractor) and get yourself and your children adjusted. It’s great for you and incredible for them. Believe me–my family’s living it!

Here we go again: Celebrities being used to sell pharmaceuticals to a trusting public. Ah, always trust a celebrity, that’s this country’s motto. Oprah, Ellen, Magic, Omarosa–the celeb matters not; famous name, the product must be good. Well this time a drug maker has gotten scolded. Bad drug maker, bad–now go to your room.

According to a recent report, Abbot Laboratories, makers of a new HIV drug have been using Laker’s legend, Earvin “Magic” Johnson, in their promotional DVD for the drug, Kaletra. The U.S Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has sent a warning letter to the pharmaceutical company ordering them to cease dissemination of what they label as “misleading information.”

The FDA states that the DVD provides only anecdotal information (personal account) on Magic Johnson’s personal experience with the drug, and offers no substantial evidence. They also go on to say that the DVD is misleading in that it presents Kaletra as “safer and more effective than has been demonstrated by substantial evidence or substantial clinical experience, and encourage use in circumstances other than those for which the drug has been shown to be safe and effective.”

Tsk, tsk, tsk…the folly of it all. Listen, drug companies know that the American public worships celebrity. So they know that attaching a big name to their product will increase sales substantially. Good job by the FDA for catching this bunkum. And damn Magic, stick to NBA analysis (awright, throw in a little Fatburger)–don’t go selling your soul, man. If that drug doesn’t turn out to be what Abbot Labs is claiming in their propaganda, or even worse, if it turns out bad, then you’re in the doghouse. Why bother? I know in today’s world, it must be the money (sung in my best Deion Sanders), but I’m certain that doing one’s due diligence on a product one is to endorse is the wisest approach.

Anyway, the DVD has been pulled, and Abbot Labs has been ordered to come up with a “comprehensive plan of action to disseminate truthful, non-misleading, and complete corrective messages about the issues discussed in this letter to the audiences that received the violative promotional materials.” And they’ve got only until July 28, 2009 to do it. I think they should get Larry Bird in on that one. What do you think?

Can anyone guess which drug is being used most commonly by middle schoolers in Los Angeles? Not marijuana, no, no…it’s inhalants. And the number one inhalant of choice–you guessed it you aspiring dental students and rocket scientists–good ol’ nitrous oxide. Ha, ha, ha, ha…oh, ‘scuse me–laughing gas in the form of whippet cartridges. You know them; they are for whipping up cream, and they’re easy to get at gas stations, head shops and in other common household items.

Well California has had enough. From L.A. times: In response to reports from schools and law enforcement of increasing incidents, Assemblyman Tom Torlakson (D-Antioch) introduced legislation that would prohibit the sale or distribution of nitrous oxide, including whippets, to anyone under 18. The bill, AB 1015, has passed the Senate Public Safety Committee and is scheduled for a floor vote in August.

Why the big deal? Because whippets can cause irreversible brain damage and there have been a few reported deaths. Recently, three students at Madison Middle School in North Hollywood were hospitalized from allegedly abusing inhalants; and at Roosevelt High in Downtown L.A., a student who had been allegedly been huffing inhalants lost consciousness and had to be resuscitated. Over the 4th of July weekend, a Boyle Heights man was found dead, his closet filled with computer dust remover canisters (another source of inhalants).

Inhalants are used for their analgesic (pain killing), euphoric, and slight hallucinogenic effects. It is addictive. The dangers are that it can cause asphyxiation, short-term decreases in mental performance, audiovisual ability, and manual dexterity, deplete vitamin B12 causing deficiency, and cause nervous system damage.

Here’s the gist: Parents of teen and preteen kids, be on the lookout for odd little metallic canisters and their plastic dispensers. See these lying around, and be sure your kid is huffing the laughing gas. Kids who love to club, rave, or whatever they might be calling it now, are likely to be exposed (in balloons filled with “nitrous”). Talk to your kids about avoiding this junk; it’s not benign; it can mess them up big time. OK, I’ll get off the soapbox now. Good luck.

Pulitzer prize winning author Frank McCourt died today from complications related to the treatment of malignant melanoma. According to reports, McCourt was suffering from meningitis, likely resulting from the immune-suppressing treatments he was receiving for the deadly skin cancer.

An Irish-American born writer, McCourt won the Pulitzer prize in 1997 for his work, Angela’s Ashes, which propelled him into wealth and popularity. He was being treated for malignant melanoma for the past few years and was released from New York’s Memorial Sloan Kettering Center to recuperate. Two weeks ago he developed meningitis, an inflammation of the sheath covering the brain and spinal cord.

This recent death brings up the importance of protection and detection of skin cancer. I’ve just written an article on the importance of daily sunlight for people, but still we all need to be careful. Sun exposure in and of itself is not dangerous; it’s getting sunburned that can lead to skin cancer. Using a good sunscreen that protects against UVA and UVB rays is essential, and protecting exposed areas if sun exposure will be for an extended time is equally important. And sunbed tanning is for the unwise, as it increases the risk significantly.

When it comes to melanoma, males and Caucasians are most susceptible. 7,800 people will die in the U.S. this year, and 48,000 worldwide, from malignant melanoma. Melanoma is most common on the back in men and on legs in women (areas of intermittent sun exposure).

To detect melanomas, one may follow the ABCDE rule:

  • Asymmetrical skin lesion.
  • Border of the lesion is irregular.
  • Color: melanomas usually have multiple colors.
  • Diameter: moles greater than 6 mm are more likely to be melanomas than smaller moles.
  • Enlarging: Enlarging or evolving

Rule D is a slight weakness in the method, as malignancies can be less than 6mm, but overall the ABCDE a good screening tool. If you are unsure about a spot or growth, don’t hesitate, get it checked out. People who live in sunny climates–Southwestern U.S., Southern California, Florida, Australia should be especially cautious.

The treatment for melanomas range from tumor excision, immunotherapy, adjuvant treatment, chemotherapy, and radiation. A new treatment for malignant melanoma using the breast cancer drug, Abraxane, is in the final stages of study. If the drug passes the Phase 3 clinical trial, it will be a new weapon in the arsenal against malignant melanoma.

In spite of all this, cancer treatments in general are risky. Since cancer cells share most traits with regular cells, just that they multiply uncontrollably, most treatments kill off all cells, including healthy ones. This can leave the patient immunocompromised, like Frank McCourt was, and thus susceptible to opportunistic diseases like meningitis.

So protect yourself, and get any unusual growths or discolorations checked out by an expert. In the meantime, give a minute of remembrance for a fine writer who will be sorely missed.

One of my intelligent and well-informed regular readers asked my opinion on a recent health piece on the swine flu vaccine. The article is written by Dr. Russel Blaylock, a prominent neurosurgeon and associate editor of the Journal of American Physicians and Surgeons. His view: The upcoming swine flu vaccine might be more dangerous than the flu itself.

If you’ve been reading my blog, you know how I feel about the flu vaccine in general: um, useless. Aside from the fact that everyone has had the flu, 99.9999999% survive it, get well and get on with their lives, there is the simple little issue that the data doesn’t support its widespread use. I’ve posted study after study showing the flu vaccines worthlessness. Why will the swine flu vaccine be any different? I even went so far as to point out that this past flu season had the lowest use of flu vaccine in years, and guess what…flu cases were down! Frickin’ duh! Thank goodness people are waking up.

What the heck is the difference with swine flu? Should we be more scared? The government, WHO, and media are certainly trying to freak us out. It’s not like I think there is a conspiracy–I’m definitely not a conspiracy theorist–but there is some vested interest in drumming up a scare. I talk at length about this in my book, The Six Keys to Optimal Health. Think about it: Can governments actually do nothing about an illness outbreak? No, they are ultimately responsible for their people. So that makes sense to me. Will the media ignore it? C’mon–that racket of power and mind manipulation wouldn’t exist without sensationalism. Pharmaceutical companies? Cha-ching. Mainstream medical profession? No new diseases, no new business.

There is no evidence that the swine flu is any worse than the regular flu. Why panic? Doesn’t mean you need the vaccine. And if, in fact, the material that is combined with the vaccine (called the adjuvant), is toxic, then obviously it’s more than useless, it’s dangerous. According to Dr. Blaylock, the adjuvant in the new swine flu vaccine is squalene. When injected, squalene, the doctor states, can trigger autoimmune disorders like rheumatoid arthritis, lupus, and multiple sclerosis (MS). He goes on to point out that squalene is also strongly linked to Gulf War Syndrome, Lou Gehrig’s disease (ALS), polyarteritis nodosa, multiple sclerosis (MS), transverse myelitis (a neurological disorder caused by inflammation of the spinal cord), endocarditis (inflammation of the heart’s inner lining), optic neuritis with blindness and glomerulonephritis (a type of kidney disease).

So what do I think? Hmm…I don’t know about all that stuff; but it really doesn’t matter to me if it’s filled with ambosia and nectar, I’m not going to take it, and I’m not going to give it to my children. If they start mandating it for schoolchildren–bye, bye school–I’ll homeschool my kids. I’m not giving my family any flu shot crap, period. There David, that’s my opinion.

*Thanks D.S. for posing the question; very relevant.

My wife just told me a disturbing story about a friend of hers with whom she and our girls spent the morning with at the park. Apparently one of the friend’s children was stung on the foot by a bee…yesterday! My wife says that the little girl’s foot has blown up to “five times the normal size.,” and that she can’t walk. The kid is three.

My wife asked the mom whether she (the mom) should be taking the girl to the ER. Uh, duh. Mom said no, and they decided to go to lunch instead. When my wife’s friend and kids arrived at the restaurant, the little girl was burning up and shivering. The lady finally left to go to the hospital.

I’m not writing this post to bag on a particular person, it’s simply to make a couple of points. First, if you or your kid are stung by a bee, wasp, hornet, etc. and an allergic reaction develops (immense swelling could be one, and shivering probably is one), please go get it checked out. Maybe it’s nothing, but maybe it’s something; and with bee stings, that something can lead to anaphylaxis. Anaphylaxis is a severe, life-threatening allergic response that affects multiple organ-systems of the body. Symptoms may include lowered blood pressure, swelling, hives and asthma-like symptoms.

Second, don’t make the foolish en vogue decision to avoid the ER because you don’t have medical insurance. Get your kid or your own behind to the ER pronto–pay cash, they’ll bill you. Even if it cost $500,000, which it wouldn’t, isn’t your child’s life worth that? Wouldn’t you pay a frickin’ dollar a day for the rest of your life to save your child? WHO CARES WHAT IT COSTS! Get them to the ER. If I’ve said it once, I’ve said it a million times: Every hospital has charity programs to help people unable to pay. I know–I’ve used it. And I know lots of people taking advantage of these programs. Don’t eat up this BS the politicians are trying to feed you. Get your kid to the ER.

Here are some tips to avoiding bee stings, and what to do if you or your kid gets stung. Stay informed.

Bzzzzzzz…..listen up, Puritans. Using a vibrator in sexual encounters is linked to better sexual health. Zoinks! You heard me right–pulling Buzzy out of the ol’ skivvy drawer can improve your sexual health. Yes, it’s fun too–but health, people, health.

So says a study out of Indiana University that polled over 2,000 women, and another that polled over 1,000 men. Men? Vibrators? That’s right, the study found that men are buzzin’ it up too. Here’s what they found:

  • Women who used vibrators were more likely to have had gynecologic check up within the past year and were also more likely to have performed a genital self-exam within the past month.
  • Women who used vibrators, and particularly recent users, reported more desire, arousal, lubrication, and orgasm, and less pain.
  • Most women (71.5%) said they never had any side effects associated with vibrator use and side effects that did occur were generally not severe or long-lasting.

And for men:

  • Men who used vibrators, particularly those with recent use, were more likely to report participation in sexual health promoting behaviors, such as testicular self-exam.
  • Men who reported recent vibrator use scored themselves higher on sexual desire, erectile function and satisfaction with sex and orgasms, than men who did not report recent vibrator use.

Wow! What a useful study. I’m just waiting for the results of the Ben Wa balls double blind placebo trial. If you have an inquistive mind like I do, then you may be wondering what kind of side effects nearly 600 women had. Hmmm. Vertigo genitalia? Zap n’ pap? Battery envy? Makes you wonder, now doesn’t it?

Anyway, let’s give a big cheer for people who use their vibrators freely and openly; and they aren’t afraid to admit it to complete strangers–scientific eggheads, at that. If you are not currently using a vibrator, ladies and gents, then get with it. It’s the in thing.

Most of my Los Angeles, Beverly Hills, West Hollywood chiropractic clients know that I am a sports chiropractor. One of the injuries I see most often in my practice is a rotator cuff syndrome. Rotator cuff syndrome is a condition in which the small external rotator muscles of the cuff get weak. This weakness can lead to shoulder pain or a full-blown injury.

A recent study presented today at the American Orthopedic Society for Sports Medicine at Keystone, Colorado has found that Major League baseball pitchers who show weak shoulder strength during the preseason are at a greater risk of developing throwing injuries and tears. The same rotator cuff muscles involved in pitching mechanisms are involved in our own everyday movements. We can therefore extrapolate these findings to non-athletes, primarily that weakened rotator cuff muscles lead to shoulder pain and injury.

This is something I discuss with my shoulder pain clients often. Strengthening the rotator cuff is essential, especially for people who exercise. I see rotator cuff syndrome frequently in weight lifters (mind you, I’m not not speaking solely of body builders; I also mean everyday people who go to the gym for improved looks and health). When the average weight lifter strengthens what I call the “glamour muscles”–the pecs, biceps, triceps, and delts to name a few–and neglects the small stabilizer muscles (of which the rotator cuff makes up only one group), it’s like having a puppy run alongside 15 full-grown huskies in the Iditarod–it’ll get yanked and pulled all over the place. Ultimately, it will fail and break down.

If you are having shoulder problems–pain while sleeping, lifting, or doing overhead movements, it’s imperative that you get checked out by a professional. If you are in Los Angeles, Beverly Hills, or West Hollywood, come see a sports chiropractor who can properly evaluate you, treat you to remove the shoulder pain and develop and exercise program to effectively strengthen your rotator cuff muscles. You’ll save yourself a world of hurt if you take prompt action.

The official DrNickCampos.com t-shirts are now here. Light weight, form-fitting, 100% cotton American Apparel tees are available through my Los Angeles, Beverly Hills, West Hollywood chiropractic office. Tees come in various sizes and colors with a choice of two slogans–”Feel Good” and “I’m Perfect…My Chiropractor Says So.”

Womens “I’m Perfect…” tees come in pink with white ink, and white with military green ink.

Womens “Feel Good” tees come in black with tan, and heather gray with fuchsia.

Mens “I’m Perfect…” tees come in navy with white, and white with military green.

Mens “Feel Good” tees come in black with tan, and asphalt gray with tan.

Thank you to all my thoughtful and creative regular readers who gave me lots of insight, and some great ideas. Keep on the lookout for baby tees and onesies, which will be available soon!

Thanks again, and don’t forget to order your DrNickCampos.com t-shirts through our website, www.drnickcampos.com (e-mail or phone, on-line shopping cart coming soon).


Last post I discussed the difficulty some parents have with guiding positive change in their children’s behavior with regard to health. For instance, when facing the task of limiting television time, many parents of overweight and obese children lack confidence in laying down the law.

I believe that uncertain parents simply lack a strategy, so last post I outlined a practical strategy for limiting T.V. time for children. It’s fair, and it’ll work if parents can stick to their guns. But like I pointed out in the post, it might be harder to implement with teenagers, as poor habits get harder to break the older kids get.

As promised, I’m posting some tips on establishing healthy eating habits for families. This was another area parents of overweight and obese kids lacked confidence in implementing. Some basic rules apply* when it comes to eating well, and they are:

  • Eat primarily whole, natural foods–real food; not processed. Fruits, vegetables, real dairy (yes, butter), real meats, and low-glycemic carbs.
  • Eat primarily at home. Eating out, no matter how healthy it seems, is still inferior to cooking at home. Believe that.
  • Cut out soda–worst damn crap you can put into your body.
  • Minimize the desserts–I know this is hard with kids, but you’ve got to keep the portions small. Two cookies (small to medium size) three times per week, and something more involved (cake, ice cream, whatever) one time per week is plenty to excessive. If you can avoid developing the habit from the start, even better. My daughter Delilah gets a small cup of ice cream once a week–that’s it; she doesn’t know any different.
  • Keep portions moderate–it’s my opinion that massive portions are the greatest contributor to obesity. Most Americans don’t need half the food they are consuming. Bring it down, big boy.

That’s it. Simple. But, as I’ve said before, this will be much harder to implement with teenagers. Teens have enough independence to make their own food choices throughout the day. This one simple fact may make it impossible to completely change their bad eating habits–the same one we’ve all had at that time in our lives.

But it’s the little kids we can influence. They may still move toward unhealthy diets as teenagers, but I guarantee you by the time they go to college they’ll remember what you’ve taught them as children, and return to eating that way. Guaranteed.

So that’s a lot of responsibility you have parents. You can be soft and uncertain, or you can be firm and certain that you are teaching your children good habits which will last them a lifetime. Your decisions now, as well as your challenges, will shape their future. They’ll thank you for it one day. I’m certain of that.

*For a more comprehensive list of healthy eating tips, read my book, The Six Keys to Optimal Health.

Many parents have a hard time disciplining their children. Laying down the law doesn’t come easy to all of us. Some find it so hard that they even risk their child’s health. Check it.Current research from Harvard University shows that many parents of overweight or obese children lacked confidence in implementing and enforcing various lifestyle behaviors that could help their children improve their health. When it came to laying down the law with regard to limiting television viewing, removing TV from children’s bedrooms, cutting back on fast food, reducing intake of sugary drinks, increasing physical activity, and improving the family’s overall eating habits, the parents studied scored pretty poorly in the confidence category. What this means is that these parents (446 surveyed) were unable to satisfactorily push their children to do the right thing.

I know it’s not always easy getting the kids to do what they should be doing–lord, I’ve got two champion tantrum throwers myself; and, of course, not everybody is as hard-assed as I am. But here are some tips that might just help some parents get their children to make a change:

  • Have a strategy–going in blind is a sure way to fail.
  • Start slowly–making drastic changes will create resentment and possibly a revolt.
  • Have your child list all the television programs he or she watches regularly. Have them pick two or three, and let them know they’ve got to dump the rest.
  • Choose a reasonable amount of time you will allow your children to watch T.V. weekly (I personally think 9-12 hours is fair to generous–one hour per night during the week, and two hours each on Saturday and Sunday).
  • No T.V. in the bedroom, period. Same with internet–sorry–too easy to watch via web.
  • Once their allotted time is up. (Click) Shut off the tube, and remove the remote.
  • Set aside time for the whole family to be together for reading or talking. If you don’t like to read, better start–kids do as their parents do.
  • Expect pissin’, moanin’ and grumblin’–stay strong, it’ll pass.

I realize that the age of one’s children will impact the success of this type of plan. No doubt, teens who have developed bad habits will be tough to break, but you’ve got to try anyhow. It’s why I always say, “Start early.” The younger the kids are when you develop habits, the easier it is to influence and form them. Hate to say it, but it might turn out that the only families able to successfully implement this type of regimen might be the ones with youngsters. Nevertheless, I’d try anyway if I were you. Can’t hurt.

Check in tomorrow for tips on how to get your family’s eating habits up to par. For sure, T.V. can be fun; but as a regular habit for kids, it’s as damaging as they come.

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