Unfortunately, society has made it very easy for childhood obesity to become a common problem.
With video games, computers, and television, children do not get enough exercise.
The Center for Disease Control (CDC) reported that in 2006 there were 13 percent of all high school students obese.
The definition of obese for the CDC was students that were more than 95 percent of their recommended body mass index. 70% of high school students did not attend physical education daily and 35% watched more than three hours of television each day.
The discouraging part of this study was that 94% of these high school students were obese from ages 5 to 12.
Preventing Childhood Obesity
Preventing childhood obesity has become very important. However, it has to go further than just increasing a child’s activity levels. It also must include a healthy, well balanced diet.
While this may seem simple enough, it really is not. You can’t be with your children each and every day. You may try to give your children healthy snacks at home, such as fruits and vegetables, but each day at a friend’s house or even the baby sitters, they may consume snack foods with hundreds of calories.
Even the schools may be part of unhealthy eating habits, as candy is often given away as a reward.
Parents Must Take an Active Roll
Children need positive roll models when it comes to healthy food and exercise choices. If you are inclined to spend hours watching television or sitting in front of a computer, your children will be as well.
Children learn by example. If a child sees you crunching on potato chips as a snack, it will be more difficult for them to choose an apple or orange.
By making positive choices in your eating habits and in your activity level, your children will begin to see how important it is.
Helping an Obese Child Cope
Society has long implies that people who are overweight or obese are not as “good” as those that are slim and trim. As a parent, it hurts to see your child suffer because of their weight.
This can range from something as simple as being the last child chosen for a team to potentially serious bullying issues. Talk to your child. Let them know that what is important is on the inside, but also encourage them to eat healthier.
Go for a walk with them, but don’t criticize or be cruel. Many times children, just like adults, turn to food as a means of comfort. If you believe there are more serious issues at stakes, such as your child’s mental health, get help immediately.
Prevent Future Health Problems
Your child’s health will also be affected by their weight. Children that are obese will often have more health problems than those that are not.
It’s important that you keep help your child make better choices, but also that you seek medical help for obesity, if needed. Help your child grow into a healthy adult!