Health Advice



Teach -- and feed -- your children well

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

When Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young sang "Teach Your Children Well" in 1969, they were imploring parents to raise children with "a code to live by." More than 50 years later, we still need to be reminded of how important that is -- especially when it comes to kids' nutritional code of conduct.

Two new studies reveal that the food choices kids make -- and that parents make for them -- can lead to serious health problems as adults. The first, published in JAMA Cardiology, found that adolescents ages 12 to 18 with elevated lousy LDL and triglyceride levels are headed for coronary artery calcification in their 30s and 40s. That means they're at risk for premature stroke, heart attack and dementia.

The second study, done in a lab, indicates that eating too much fat and sugar as a child can cause a lifelong disruption in your gut biome, affecting everything from glucose regulation to immune strength. And, say the researchers, it's not easy to repair a biome once the damage is done. That may be why you may need to take probiotics long-term. Stop taking them and the microbes you're beneficially introducing into your gut often fade away.

Bottom line: Feed your kids whole, high-fiber foods, largely unprocessed, with no added sugars or syrups, only 100% whole grains and lean proteins (max one serving of red meat a week and no processed red meats). Then they'll have a fighting chance to avoid America's epidemic of diabetes and obesity. That's a code to live by!



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

(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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