Celebrate this Thanksgiving by discussing your family’s health.
The holiday season is a time to celebrate with family. It’s also an opportune time to discuss health issues that affect family members. We know that family heath history is an important part of medical care and awareness. It’s so important that the U.S. Surgeon General declared Thanksgiving as National Family History Day since 2004.
Why is family health history so important to me?
As a parent, you’re likely to do your best to set your child up for success: prepare healthy meals, educate them, and encourage socialization. What many adults forget is that certain traits are passed down from parents to children. From hair to eye color to health concerns, there are conditions that run in the family. Some common conditions that can be inherited include:
- Heart disease
- Some cancers
Fortunately, it’s not all bad news! By knowing which conditions your parents and grandparents had, you can learn about the disease or condition to find out what you can do to prevent it. While you have inherited genes that you can’t change, you can improve yours and your child’s lifestyle. From eating a healthy diet, limiting soda and meat consumption, exercising regularly, not smoking, and routine medical care, you’re on your way to preventing disease!
How do I get my family’s health history?
Ask questions about your close relative’s health, such as birth defects, childhood health problems, and the age and cause of death. Ask if there are common adult diseases that run in the family. While this isn’t exactly ideal Thanksgiving table talk, it’s a good time to remind each other of health and lifestyle improvements. Family gathers are ideal opportunities to collect family health histories and make amends to your lifestyle!
Fortunately, healthy eating and living habits are thoroughly reinforced at Boys & Girls Clubs of Greater Conejo Valley. Our organization and staff members understand the importance of maintaining a balanced diet for top cognitive function and development!