Editorial: Start the new year with healthier habits

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, January 4, 2006

We all want the best for our children.

The American Cancer Society states that adults make choices every day that affect their children’s risk for developing cancer as an adult.

Daily habits like diet and exercise are among the most important factors in a person’s risk of cancer, according to the ACS. Research shows that one-third of the more than 9,500 cancer deaths expected to occur this year in Minnesota could be prevented this year if harmful behaviors such as poor eating habits and inactive lifestyles were never started.

For many children, these harmful habits are well established by age 13, putting them at greater risk for cancer, heart disease and type II diabetes.

This is the time of year when many Americans make resolutions, and what better time to not only make resolutions to lead healthier lives ourselves, but for our children as well.

Adults, by being good examples, can encourage children to get healthy and get active today to reduce their risk for getting cancer in the future. A healthy lifestyle is one of the best gifts we can give them &045; anytime.

The important first step is to get moving. The ACS states children should get 60 minutes or more of moderate to vigorous physical activity at least five days a week. Maintaining a healthy weight is another important step to reducing cancer risk. Children should eat at least five servings of vegetables and fruits each day. Adults can also limit the amount of fast food and sugar-sweetened beverages their children consume.

We want the best for our children, and what’s better than good health? This is the perfect time for the whole family to get active and eat healthy.