by Dr. Brian S. Seaman, DC, FRCCSS(C), FICC

Grandchildren, young adults, the younger generation --- we all assume that they are fit. But in fact, the younger generation has become quite sedentary --- and with that has come a significant problem --- obesity.

Yes the poor dietary habits of the younger generation, combined with a decreased level of activity, are contributing to a very sad trend. Your kids and grandchildren, are sitting around, playing computer games for hours, eating ‘junk’ food and gaining weight. Back when we were younger, we went out to play games and had a lot of fresh air. But with ‘modern toys’ there has been a significant and troubling shift to inactivity, obesity and related health issues like diabetes and asthma.

How do we stop it? How do we change the trend? It has to start by setting a good example and giving the right message:

  • Do you exercise?
  • Are you overweight?
  • Do you smoke?
  • Do you drink too much coffee and alcohol?
  • Do you drink pop and eat chips in front of the TV at night?


Lead by example. Check your weight and your BMI (Basal Metabolic Index).

Check with your health care professional or fitness trainer, and have your percent body fat calculated.  Most people are carrying more extra weight than they are aware of.

Start by walking everyday. Going out for groceries? Don’t put pop, chips and junk food in your shopping cart. Cut down on smoking, coffee and alcohol.


 Help your children and grandchildren understand that healthy habits lead to a healthy lifestyle.

  • Take them walking with you.
  • Do an exercise class together.
  • Go swimming together.
  • Teach them how to eat properly --- make a salad together.
  • Show them by example. You can make a difference in their lives.


All of us have a ‘stubborn streak’ now and then. The problem with the younger generation, is that there is often pier pressure to do certain things, eat a certain way and the desire to be ‘part of the gang’, or the ‘in crowd’.

That is why leading by example can be so important. It is not only important to them but also to you. It can create a bond or some common ground --- especially with younger people and teenagers.

Bad habits and good habits --- many of these are developed during our formative years. As a parent or a grandparent, part of our ‘mandate’ is to promote ‘good’ habits.

If this means that we instil good habits of hygiene, study, and moral values, it is also important to ensure the health of our younger generations both physically and mentally.


Yes --- there are a lot of things to do. Some of my patients have begun running with their children and grandchildren with a goal of completing a family trek together, or perhaps even a 5 km. fun run, a 10 km. family race or even something a bit more challenging.

Try an exercise class together or go hiking. Maybe even garden together. This will show them how to grow healthy fresh vegetables for that salad that I mentioned earlier.

Not only does this promote a healthy lifestyle but provides an excellent way to spend time together.



Take an interest in yourself and your health.

Take an interest in your kids and grandchildren.

Good examples and good habits lead to good health.

Start a trend in your family --- it is never too late!

Reprinted with permission of
The Seniors' Advocate. P.O. Box 5005, Waverly, Nova Scotia, B2R 1S2


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