The fact that over a third of American children are obese should concern any parent. While some of these children have unhealthy weight through no fault of their, either through the hand dealt to them by genetics or congenital medical conditions, for many it boils down to the diet.
It should concern parents since they have an important role in deciding what their children eats and inculcating in them healthy eating habits.
While the health risks associated with obesity are not as severe in children as they are in adults, obesity still poses health problems for children in both the short term and the long term.
Health risks of childhood obesity
Obese children may have breathing problems which hinders their ability to participate in physical activities expected of their age and this can later develop into asthma. This can also manifest itself as sleep apnea which heightens ones risk of suffering a stroke or a heart attack as they grow older.
In the short term, excess weight can cause a child to have self-esteem issues and joint problems since their skeletal structure isn’t as developed to handle their body weight.
Furthermore, obese children are at risk of developing diabetes and heart disease in addition to growing up to be obese or overweight adults. Some of the well-known effects of obesity in adolescence and adulthood include reproductive problems where there is early or delayed puberty and sexual health issues.
Overcoming childhood obesity
The good news is with time on their side, parents and caregivers can help their children manage and overcome their weight problems and grow into healthy and fit adults. The last thing an overweight child needs is to be mocked and teased about their weight – it could ruin their self-esteem for life. Instead be empathetic, understanding and supportive. Here’s what you need to do;
Encourage eating healthy habits
Kids learn from the examples of their parents, not their words. Your child is unlikely to eat healthy if the parent is a junk food aficionado. This starts with the kinds of food you have and prepare in your house. It’s hard for your child to eat healthy if your refrigerator is filled with unhealthy processed and junk foods.
Clean your house of unhealthy foods and replace them with healthy organic alternatives. With less temptations your child is likely to start eating healthy. Make it a family goal to eat and live healthy. Visit Easy-Diabetic-Recipes.Com for healthy recipes.
The second aspect of healthy eating lies in the quantity. Actually, this is the easiest way to maintain a healthy weight but also the hardest to master. To help them control their quantities, encourage your child to drink plenty of water during the day and snack on fruits which make them feel full faster and stay that way for longer.
Ensure your child participates in physical activities to help them lose weight and stay fit. This can be fun activities like gym sessions at school, swimming or biking. Household chores and gardening are also great ways to keep your child active. You can even be exercising together as a family.
You can easily achieve this by minimizing the passive activities your child engages in like watching TV or spending countless hours on their phones.