05/16/2005 03:00 am ET | Updated May 25, 2011

65% Is Not PRECISELY 2 Out of 3, But It’s Close Enough

Nearly two thirds of all cancers can be prevented by “not smoking and following a healthy lifestyle.” This is not exactly shocking news but the May issue of Mayo Clinic Women's HealthSource goes on to give a few details and you already know them.

I take care of children and families as my day job and spend the vast majority of my time with families who eat well, exercise and never smoke.

Occasionally, I have to do a little more work, though. Fathers undermine mothers’ strong desire to feed their children well and set, by far, the worse example in the house.

Incomprehensible that in the year 2005 fathers still expose their kids to cigarette smoke which can more than double a child’s risk of asthma.

(Here’s an article from the May issue of the Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology and Harvard School of Public Health which lets parents know that obesity may be a prime risk factor for their kids developing asthma. Twofer . . .)

Perhaps equally amazing that fathers still celebrate by taking their children to McDonald’s, Burger King, or Kentucky Fried Greasy Stuff (somehow abbreviated KFC) even though we know that these foods cause obesity and increase as child’s risk of developing heart disease and cancer. I have no trouble explaining to children that they might not find a finger in their greasy fast food but there could be a booger or cow poop in there. (OK, I can’t prove that McD’s has boogers in the burgers—sounds like a rap song—but there are sure enough plenty of reports of this cheap junk containing junk containing cows' intestinal bacteria and other bugs.)

This is lazy parenting.

I do “nutritional consultations” in my office almost every day and sometimes I have to do the same visit with the same family five years in a row. My suggestions are mundane involving less cheese and more beans and veggies and then, the advice which often meets with the most resistance, an after-dinner family walk!

Dads, with Fathers’ Day just a month or so away, let's all start aiming a little higher.