The statistics on childhood obesity are startling in America alone, the number of obese children below the age of 12 is one third. This means that one third of the children in America are prone to all the diseases and other conditions that come with obesity. The problem is not in the US alone many countries in Asia and South America are reporting increases in childhood obesity numbers.
Understanding the effects of obesity is important. Children are likely to get diabetes which is almost always linked to excess body weight. They are also prone, at such tender ages, to heart conditions. So what can you as a parent do to make sure that your child is not threatened by obesity? The first step is to understand how it comes about in the first place.
Obesity is excess body fat which comes about because we consume more calories than we need. We can fight it by either cutting on the calories we consume or increasing the bodys need for them.
Here are some practical ways that you can ensure that your child remains safe from obesity.
1. Healthy eating
Part of the problem is that too many parents, because they dont have the time to make proper meals, resort to processed and packaged foods that are easy to put on the table. These foods contain too much salt, too much fat and not nearly enough of the nutrition that a growing child needs. They are also loaded with unhealthy sugars. If you can eliminate all these foods and insist on proper meals and snacks, you are helping your child beat obesity. In particular, get rid of soda and other sweet processed drinks they contain about 3 or 4 times the amount of calories your child needs every day. If these calories are not spent, they lead to excess body fat.
2. Get your children outside
Obesity is on the rise too much because too many children are spending too much time sitting down in front of TV and computer screens playing games. In communities where children play outdoors more, there are lower incidences of childhood obesity. Encourage your children to be out at play so long as they are in a safe environment.
If you live in a place where you feel they are not safe outdoors, make an arrangement for them to play somewhere where there is security. Also, instead of buying them video games and other gifts that keep them in the house, how about getting them toys that are used outside? This way, they will always get the exercise they need. Dont worry about playing with them to motivate them kids are perfectly capable of making interesting play when they are left to their own devices.
Lastly, when it comes to childhood obesity, it is important to monitor what your child consumes when they are in school. Some school programs dont have the money that it takes to give kids healthy meals so they resort to the kind that put children at obesity risk. Watch out in particular for beverages, especially soda. A good option would be to pack drinks and the lunch meal at home so that you can be sure that your children are eating right.