Despite research that claims a recent improvement, childhood obesity remains a prominent problem which has not declined in the last decade. Unfortunately, many parents unknowingly fuel their child’s unhealthy habits.
Children who are heavy prove more likely to develop serious health risks like high blood pressure, diabetes, and an early death sentence. Even if children are able to lose the weight, personalized health care plan doctors have found that they are often more susceptible to these health risks later on in life.
These five tips will help to fight against childhood obesity, giving them a long healthy life.
1. TV Time
Television has taken over the world with its entertaining escape from reality. However, too much TV can have a powerful impact on children’s obesity.
In a study of obese children, 90 percent had been exposed to television as a brand new baby, while 50 percent were active participants, placed in front of television by their parents. As children grow older, if they are used to spending hours in front of a television, they will lose interest in other activities that could help them to become active and healthy.
2. Role Model
Children learn from example. If they see Mom and Dad vegging out in front of the TV, eating poorly, or ignoring their health, they will most likely follow this set pattern. Kids love to be just like their parents, and with parents setting an influential example of health, kids are likely to adopt this model. Habits that begin when children are young are likely to persist as they age. Depending on the habit, this can be a good thing or a bad thing.
No matter how busy life gets, the importance of eating a well balanced diet can never be reiterated enough. Even though a drive-thru meal might be more convenient, it can have serious consequences on a child’s body.
Good nutrition starts with the most important meal of the day: breakfast. Children need breakfast—and a nutritious one at that—to perform well in school. Whether it is a whole grain cereal, which has been linked to lowering BMI, toast, eggs, etc., breakfast should be high in protein and low in sugar. It will keep children alert throughout the school morning while adding nutrients to their growing bodies.
4. Get Outside
Too often children are allowed to spend more time inside playing with electronics than outside exercising. While occupying a child with a video game or tablet sometimes seems like the easiest thing to do, it might be hurting the child’s overall health.
Children need to spend time outside playing, using their imagination, socializing with neighborhood kids, and being active. Activity not only helps to prevent obesity; it also stimulates creativity and cognitive function.
5. Be Honest
While kids should certainly not be obsessing over their weight, they should recognize and understand the importance of health. Along with showing them what to do, talk openly and often about making good food choices and setting an exercise routine. Educate yourselves together by researching good health habits and setting family goals.
Children need a health precedent set for them, and the best people to advise them are definitely their own parents.