Studies have shown that childhood obesity is not going away, in fact, it is on a steady incline. A study in the United States showed that over 15% of children in the US ranging from ages 6 to 17, with some of the cases including children who are up to 19 years old, as being obese. Unless something is done about this epidemic, the statistics are going to continue upward. Thankfully, the situation concerning childhood obesity can be prevented and rectified.
Most of the factors that contribute to childhood obesity are avoidable and preventable factors. Some of the reasons for childhood obesity, according to the American Obesity Association, are lack of physical activity, poor eating habits, when children are exposed to others who promote sedentary behaviors, and socioeconomic stresses. There is one factor that cannot be helped and that is genetics. When a child has genetics from an obese background their chances of becoming obese greatly increase.
Obesity is not just a matter of social concern; it is also a health concern that can lead to problems such as diabetes, high blood pressure, skin problems, and high cholesterol if left untreated. Children who are obese can look forward to problems such as joint deterioration, cardiac issues, and even possible death.
The best way to prevent childhood obesity is to make sure that your home is a loving and supporting environment. Make sure to avoid non-nutritional foods, limit media time, and try to provide a good example that your children can follow.
Some of the tips that you can follow to prevent childhood obesity and keep your child healthy are:
- Enroll your child in some sort of physical activity after school. It doesn’t have to be competitive but physical exercise of some type.
- Invest in the new interactive physical games that are now on the market (like DDR Wii games)
- Walk your child to school if it is convenient.
- Take the weekends to go on walks or hikes.
- Give your child physical chores to perform like mowing the lawn or raking leaves.
- Limit the number of chocolates, junk food, and candy products that you buy and keep them out of sight from your child, instead provide them with good and healthy food .
- Consult a nutritionist to talk about better options to choose from.
- Introduce your child to new foods that he or she may not have tried.
- Make sure to be an active participant in your child’s life and know what they are eating. Pack their lunch for school if you need to.
- Keep the snacks that you offer your child healthy .
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