Child obesity on the rise
No one is happy to hear that obesity has become a serious health problem in our society, but it is particularly difficult to hear that this problem is affecting the most vulnerable in the population—our children. Even with all the scientific and medical advances, it may be that this current generation of children will be the first group not to live longer, healthier lives than their parents.
Obesity related disorders, such as Type II Diabetes and Hypertension, are being diagnosed at younger ages. In addition, overweight kids are experiencing difficulties that used to be associated only with adults, such as joint pain, heart problems and even social isolation.
There are some things you can do to help your children maintain a healthy weight.
Child Obesity Prevention List
1. Take your child for a physical check-up with a pediatrician to rule out any physiological abnormalities that could cause weight gain.
2. Limit or eliminate, soda and sugary fruit drinks, from your children’s diet, and encourage them to drink water instead.
3. Limit your children’s consumption of fruit juice (even 100%), which, although more nutritious than soda, is both caloric and a concentrated source of fructose, a type of sugar that has been linked to increased fat production.
4. Model healthy eating habits, by choosing healthy foods yourself.
5. Make sure your child gets adequate exercise by encouraging activities that get him or her moving, and join in whenever you can.
6. Keep television viewing and video games to a reasonable minimum, since these activities are associated with being overweight.
7. Resist rewarding your kids with sugary treats, but reward them instead with attention and other non-food incentives.
8. Even if your children are not now overweight, don’t force them to clean their plate, especially if you have filled it up, so that they learn to quit eating when they are full.
9. Eat more meals at home, since fast food is generally loaded with unhealthy fats and empty calories.
10. Eat together as a family whenever you can. A recent study showed a connection between the decline of family meals and the increase in childhood obesity.
11. Make sure that your child is getting 10 or more hours of sleep each night. Studies have shown that obesity can be correlated with lack of sleep.
12. Educate yourself and your children about which foods are healthy, along with the matchless benefits of healthy eating.