The Most Important Principles for Staying Young: Don’t be a Nattering Nabob of Negativism Parent

8 May

Our basic premise is that your body is amazing. You get a do over. It doesn’t take that long, and it isn’t that hard if you know what to do. In these notes, we give you a short course in what to do so it becomes easy for you and for you to teach others. We want you to know how much control you have over both the quality and length of your life.

Back in the early 1970s, President Richard Nixon’s VP, Spiro Agnew, called investigative journalists “nattering nabobs of negativism.” But it was the VP who showed up in the negative column when reporters at The Wall Street Journal, the Washington Post, and The Baltimore Sun discovered that Agnew had taken bribes and didn’t pay taxes while vice president. He resigned in 1973.

An analysis of two studies, both published in the journal Psychological Science, clearly demonstrates that negative-ness often backfires. Researchers found children of parents who viewed them as overweight as four- to five-year-olds packed on the most pounds over the next decade than children whose parents thought they were a “normal” weight (even if they were in fact overweight or obese).

Seems that when kids grow up with a negative perception of their body, they’re more likely to develop disordered eating patterns, like dieting followed by binge eating, which eventually leads to weight gain.

So Mom and Dad, if you think your child is overweight, look for positive ways to promote health and a positive self-image. Get your child involved in school play groups and sports; kids need to be active at least 90 minutes a day. Make cooking a joint adventure by allowing your child to discover healthy food choices by sampling (don’t force it) a wide variety of whole food ingredients. Think of food as something to be shared and appreciated—not as a reward or a punishment.

Thanks for reading. Feel free to send questions—to, and some of them we may know enough to answer (we’ll try to get answers for you if we do not know).

Young Dr Mike Roizen (aka, The Enforcer)

PS: Thank you for making AgeProof: Living Longer Without Running Out of Money or Breaking a Hip (which was released on February 28th—grab your copy at your favorite bookseller if you haven’t already) a NY Times and WSJ Bestseller!



NOTE: You should NOT take this as medical advice.
This article is of the opinion of its author.
Before you do anything, please consult with your doctor.

You can follow Dr Roizen on twitter @YoungDrMike (and get updates on the latest and most important medical stories of the week). The YOU docs have two newly revised books: The patron saint “book” of this column YOU Staying Young—revised and YOU: The Owner’s Manual…revised —yes a revision of the book that started Dr Oz to being Dr Oz. These makes great gifts—so do YOU: ON a Diet and YOU: The Owner’s Manual for teens.

Michael F. Roizen, M.D., is chief wellness officer and chair of the Wellness Institute at the Cleveland Clinic. His radio show streams live on Saturdays from 5-7 p.m. He is the co-author of 4 #1 NY Times Best Sellers including: YOU Staying Young.

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