The Generational Effect of Health Habits

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I have a confession. I like fast food and I prefer to eat out.

Anyone who spends time around myself or our gym knows these two habits are problematic when trying to improve health.

Where did they come from?

Well, I grew up with them.

Both of my parents had careers. We went to after-school care since our parents couldn’t always pick us up when school got out.

My parents would prefer to go get food after getting us over spending the time cooking each night. Sometimes we went to sit-down restaurants, and others we went through a drive-thru.

I learned these habits from practice, although as a child, I had less control. As I got older, I maintained these habits, as they were what I knew and was familiar with.

I have met people on the opposite end of the spectrum. Their family ate at home a lot. Most often, these families had one stay-at-home parent or a parent with special working hours.
Both reflect the generational effect of health habits.

Whether we talk about nutrition, exercise, sleep, recreation, medical, or general lifestyle habits, we will come to the same conclusions. We have a large impact on the habits of those coming behind us.

If you have children, they are watching you. They will do exactly what you do. I am always entertained when I hear a parent talk about an odd thing his or her child does, only to realize the parent does the same.

The way we manage our health goes much further than our own quality of life. Yes, we improve our quality of life by building healthier habits, but so do those who come after us.

How does habit change? 

Habit does not change by making a massive overhaul in your life. Studies show those who try to change many things at once are much more likely to revert than those who pick one or two specific things to change.

That’s right. Habits change by changing one habit at a time.

Generational change occurs the exact same way. If we want the future to look different, then it starts with one small change today.