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For your child's future mental health, make smart choices today

By Michael Roizen, M.D. and Mehmet Oz, M.D. on

When moms were interviewed about the qualities they hoped their children would develop, a survey from Motherly found kindness was No. 1, followed by attributes such as respect, resilience, curiosity, intelligence, generosity and bravery. All are characteristics of an emotionally healthy child, teen and adult.

But those traits may turn out to be more difficult to nurture than parents expect. Around 20% of 12- to 18-year-olds now have prediabetes -- and we suspect an alarming number of kids even younger are on that hazardous glide path. These youngsters may develop persistently elevated insulin levels and new research reveals that can harm their mental health.

Scientists at Cambridge University tracked over 10,000 people to study how insulin levels and body mass index in childhood correlates with depression and psychosis in young adulthood. They found that persistently high insulin levels from mid-childhood were linked with a higher chance of developing psychosis as an adult. They also found an increase in BMI around the onset of puberty was linked with a higher chance of developing depression as an adult, especially for girls.

For their future happiness, it's essential that you help your children get at least an hour of physical activity daily and eat a diet that maintains a healthy weight. That means cutting out highly processed foods, added sugars and syrups, red meats and any grain that isn't 100% whole. Life is challenging enough for kids these days without having to battle emotional problems that might have been avoided with simple adjustments to everyday habits.

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Mehmet Oz, M.D. is host of "The Dr. Oz Show," and Mike Roizen, M.D. is Chief Wellness Officer and Chair of Wellness Institute at Cleveland Clinic. To live your healthiest, tune into "The Dr. Oz Show" or visit www.sharecare.com.

(c)2021 Michael Roizen, M.D. and Mehmet Oz, M.D.

Distributed by King Features Syndicate, Inc.

(c) 2021 Michael Roizen, M.D. and Mehmet Oz, M.D. Distributed by King Features Syndicate, Inc.
 

 

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