Like it or not, the day you become a parent, you become a role model.
To a large degree, our kids develop their perception of the world from watching us. This inheritance, if you will, is especially true when it comes to healthy lifestyle habits.
We can see the impact of our habits by looking at an ongoing genome study known as the Coriell Personalized Medicine Collaborative (CPMC). Started in 2007, this particular study gathers its participants’ genomic information and combines it with their family history, lifestyle habits, environmental factors, and more to make predictions about their risk for diseases.
What they’ve found is that while genetics are the major driver of some conditions, a significant percentage of risk lies in lifestyle and environment.
While this pioneering research has the potential to move us toward a future where personalized medicine is the norm, it’s also a stern reminder of the impact our choices – choices that often become the choices of our children.
Patient-centric, personalized medicine can help doctors make better clinical decisions. It can also offer patients
- A higher probability of improved health outcomes via better-targeted therapies.
- A lower probability of adverse reactions from medications and treatments.
- A focus on prevention and prediction of disease for earlier disease intervention.
- Reduced healthcare costs.
Of course, the ideal future is one with as little medical intervention as possible. It’s an approach of disease prevention, not management. It’s active, not reactive. It’s sustaining health as our natural state of being.
Modeling appropriate food and activity choices gives children their best chance at wellness for their lifetimes. But there are other strategies, as well:
- 3 Ways to Raise Health Conscious Kids
- Getting Your Kids to Eat, or at Least Try Everything
- 10 “Food Rules” that Could Change Your Picky Eater into a Foodie
- 10 Ways to Get Kids to Eat Healthier
- 3 posts, 1 theme: How to Get Your Kids to Enjoy Exercise – here and here and here
- 19 Easy Ways to Encourage Your Kids to Get Active
- 50 Indoor Activities to Keep Kids Active
The data collected from the study’s thousands of participants clearly shows lifestyle and environment are significant factors that will impact health and longevity either positively or negatively. So if you’re looking to raise the next generation of kids with a sense of health consciousness, be their guide, yes, but first be their role model.
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