Obesity in children is an important health issue that seems to keep getting more and more prevalent. Since the 1970’s, the percentage of children with obesity has more than tripled. This can have a significant impact on a child’s life, not only now but as they grow into adulthood.
Childhood obesity has long term impacts on not only your child’s physical health, but also their social and emotional health. Some long term effects of childhood obesity are:
- Low self-esteem
- Higher risk for developing other chronic health conditions (asthma, diabetes, etc.)
Children who are obese are also more likely to be teased and/or bullied by their peers.
So what are some causes of obesity in children?
- Poor food choices
- Having obese parents Children whose parents are obese are more likely to also become obese.
- Diabetes during pregnancy
- Low birth weight
- Demographical factors
- Lack of physical activity
Now, some of these factors, like genetics we can’t really do anything about now. But with some guidance and a few changes, we can certainly help our children learn to have a happier, healthier life.
What are some ways we can help?
Encourage your kids to make better food choices.
- Have fruits and veggies on hand for when they want a snack.
- Be more aware of portion sizes. Small children do not need very large portions.
- Don’t allow your kids to eat while watching T.V. This leads to over eating.
- Have less fried food. Instead try baking, or grilling.
- Use low-fat or non fat dairy products
Encourage your children to be more active.
- Limit the amount of time your children watch T.V.
- Encourage your kids to play outside. Games like tag are great!
- Buy them toys and/or games that require your kids to get up and moving.
- Have them do some chores
- Go for walks around your neighborhood with them
- Take them bike riding
All of these are great ideas to help your kids lead a healthier life. But what I feel is the most important piece of advice I can give. Be a good role model for your children. They observe and mimic everything we do.
As always, If you have any questions regarding your child’s health, your best source of information is your child’s pediatrician.
How do you keep your children healthy and active? Comment and share your ideas!!
Have a wonderful day!