DEAR HARRIETTE: I’m concerned about my dad’s eating habits. He is getting a bit older, and although he has no preexisting health conditions, he’s not in the best shape. He consumes way too much sugar and sodium, and he doesn’t get nearly enough exercise on a weekly basis. I’ve tried to help him, but he is stubborn and stuck in his ways. He feels that at his age, he is entitled to eat and live however he wants. I’m scared that if he doesn’t make a change, something bad is going to happen to him. How can I convince my dad to live a healthier lifestyle? -- Dad Needs Diet
DEAR DAD NEEDS DIET: Studies show that people who lead a sedentary lifestyle filled with sugar and sodium are setting themselves up for unhealthy bodies and disease. Sadly, one of the many negative side effects of COVID-19 on our communities is that many people have become more sedentary and not as mindful of what they consume. This is a recipe for disaster. Medical professionals point to lack of physical activity as having a direct effect on overall health and wellness. Being sedentary can lead to a host of diseases, including obesity, diabetes, cardiovascular disease and even early death.
Talk to your dad. Tell him you want him to live and that you are worried that his current lifestyle is not pointing him in that direction. Get him reading material so he can see for himself. Here’s one helpful article: medicalnewstoday.com/articles/322910#physical-dangers.
Invite him to go on walks, drink more water and change his diet. Keep encouraging him. Your positive attitude may inspire him to develop better habits.