Adults and children alike may experience memory problems associated with being overweight. Obesity triggers changes in memory-associated genes in the brain’s hippocampus, and this establishes the link between obesity and cognitive decline. So if you’re overweight or obese, this is one more good reason to get walking (10,000 steps a day – get a buddy and pedometer if you can).
How to get started
In a study on weight and memory, overweight mice that received a dose of resveratrol had increased cognition. Healthful dietary sources of resveratrol for humans include peanuts, pistachios, grapes, blueberries, cranberries, and cocoa and dark chocolate (1 ounce a day of 70 percent cacao), or even one glass of red wine for women, two for men, per day.
Include these in your five to nine daily servings of fruits and vegetables, and make sure you cut these things from your diet: added sugars and syrups, all trans and most saturated fats, and all processed foods. Get started now. Don’t let your commitment to beat obesity slip your mind.
How to help your kids get started
Almost a quarter of kids ages six to 19 are obese. Obesity is a common – and dangerous – disease, especially for children. Many factors contribute to this epidemic (hormone disruptors in receipts and plastics, changes in intestinal bacteria due to processed foods, the digital-sit-and-stare-at-a-screen revolution, inner-city environments, high fructose corn syrup, sugary drinks – the list goes on and on). And it can seem hard to keep your child from becoming overweight. But here’s a good place to start: preschool.
Alarmingly, preschoolers get around 48 minutes of active play a day, when they should be getting two hours or more. And this contributes to everything from overweight to learning and behavior problems.
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So if your child is in daycare:
- Help arrange for parent-volunteers to come play active games with the kids.
- Set up excursions to local parks where kids can explore and play.
- Provide daycare workers with activity-based CDs or videos that will get kids up and moving.