Childhood Obesity

Here’s the skinny on your child’s health–the food kids crave is loaded with fat, sugar and calories. But are their eating habits just “kids being kids,” or the beginning of destructive lifelong habits?

The latest studies are food for thought: one in five young children is overweight to obese, putting them at higher risk of heart disease, diabetes, high blood pressure and other serious medical problems.

The three main causes of childhood obesity are unhealthy diet, poor sleep, and a lack of exercise. Genetics can be a factor, but family lifestyles weigh much heavier.

That means parents need to lead by example…serve healthy meals, exercise with your children—and junk the junk food except as a rare treat. Healthy habits don’t need to have an age restriction.

If you have a comment or question for the New Shine.FM wellness expert Dr. Walt Larimore, visit the wellness expert page at Shine.FM.

Listen to today’s audio here.

Heartburn & Cancer

Heartburn…we’ve all felt it. But many of us have learned to live with it on a regular basis. And that could put you at risk for more than a rough night’s sleep.

More research is linking regular heartburn to a greater risk of throat and vocal cord cancer. In fact, that risk goes up by nearly eighty percent.

Over the counter antacids can reduce some of the risk. But if you regularly have heartburn more than twice a week, talk to your doctor. Treatment is simple, you’ll help prevent dangerous cancers and you’ll simply feel a lot better after you eat. Now that’s advice to chew on.

If you have a comment or question for the New Shine.FM wellness expert Dr. Walt Larimore, visit the wellness expert page at Shine.FM.

Listen to today’s audio here.

Faith & Health

I received an email from a guy whose friends are debating if faith really impacts our health. Well, if he has faith in my answer, I think he’ll be encouraged.

First, let me be clear—strong faith, enough prayer or the right faith doesn’t guarantee good health or healing. We know God doesn’t always answer “yes.”

However, there is overwhelming evidence that shows religious commitment plays a positive role in preventing illness, helping people cope when they are sick, and speeding up recovery. Plus, a strong faith is linked to lower stress levels and overall wellbeing.

The general health benefits of faith are real—and deeper faith means greater benefits. Maybe that’s one reason God is called the “Great Physician.”

If you have a comment or question for the New Shine.FM wellness expert Dr. Walt Larimore, visit the wellness expert page at Shine.FM.

Listen to today’s audio here.

Risk of Parenting Toddlers

Parents with very young children hear a lot about childproofing their home, but what about babyproofing yourself?

You may be surprised how many parents are injured by babies and toddlers. Poked eyes, bumped heads, broken noses and chipped teeth is just the start…young children have developing motor skills, unlimited curiosity and unpredictable behavior.

Should you duck and cover at the sight of footed pajamas? Not quite. But when it comes to babies and toddlers, be vigilant when they’re close by. Watch for sudden movements, be wary of anything they’re holding and keep long jewelry away from their grasp. As your child gets older you can teach them appropriate behaviors, how to be careful and how to treat others with respect.

If you have a comment or question for the New Shine.FM wellness expert Dr. Walt Larimore, visit the wellness expert page at Shine.FM.

Listen to today’s audio here.

Exercise & Blood Pressure

Here’s some encouraging news: a recent report shows that regular exercise significantly reduces blood pressure—in everybody—within just a few months. Your current weight, blood pressure, race, age or if you exercise or not—it doesn’t matter.

Blood pressure decreases with exercise more than other natural methods like cutting back on salt.

If you don’t think about blood pressure, you should. Twenty-five percent of Americans have high blood pressure, which dramatically increases your risk for heart attack and stroke. Even small reductions can make a huge difference in your health and longevity.

The blood pressure benefits are just another reason to start an aerobic exercise program. Now more than ever, the phrase “just do it” applies.

If you have a comment or question for the New Shine.FM wellness expert Dr. Walt Larimore, visit the wellness expert page at Shine.FM.

Listen to today’s audio here.

Toddler Cold Medication

It hurts when your child is sick, and you’d do just about anything to help. Unfortunately, the desire to care for our kids can lead to dangerous decisions.

The first choice for many parents is a cough or cold medicine, despite warning labels that say they aren’t safe for kids. A number of medicines contain drugs that shouldn’t be given to children under four. But many of us aren’t reading the labels, or are simply ignoring them.

So, what can you give your little one? Saline drops help sniffy noses, and honey can quiet coughs. Try a humidifier too, and don’t forget the timeless advice of lots of fluids and plenty of rest.

Of course, you can always check with your pediatrician. Help your child get well–safely.

If you have a comment or question for the New Shine.FM wellness expert Dr. Walt Larimore, visit the wellness expert page at Shine.FM.

Listen to today’s audio here.

Shopping Hungry

You may have heard how hungry grocery shoppers spend more. But hitting the store on an empty stomach isn’t just draining your wallet, it’s stretching your waist.

Beings hungry effects your judgment, and increases the chance you’ll add junk food, pre-processed meals and higher calorie items to your cart—in place of the healthier options you would have bought. In short, studies show we buy more bad and less good.

It may seem like common sense, but simply having a snack before you shop can help. Or, try shopping right after breakfast, lunch or dinner. A little planning will help your belly and your budget.

If you have a comment or question for the New Shine.FM wellness expert Dr. Walt Larimore, visit the wellness expert page at Shine.FM.

Listen to today’s audio here.