12 Best Ways to Prevent Childhood Obesity
Childhood obesity is becoming an alarming public health problem nowadays as more and more children are affected by it.
Statistical data shows that in US more than 15% of all children and young adults are obese and the percentage is dramatically rising. This is why childhood obesity is starting to be considered as one of the main threats to children health.
Obesity is the result of an unbalanced diet, unhealthy food habits and a sedentary lifestyle. NoIwadays children eat more junk food than ever, spend a huge amount of time in front of TV or computer and spend less time playing and exercising.
In order to stop this terrible spiral causing childhood obesity, important changes must be made. The first and most important change is to learn to educate ourselves about what is good and what is wrong for our children. Expecting others to solve the problems for us will have no result on the short term.
In certain cases, childhood obesity is a hereditary problem. Still, this is not an excuse for not having a balanced diet and not getting enough exercises. Remember, and this applies for both children and adults, too many calories and a sedentary lifestyle will always lead to overweight. As a parent, it is your duty to stop this from happening.
Go that extra mile to learn how to motive your child to eat veggies (the green stuff they always hate), to limit the number of hours spent in front of TV or computer, make exercises fun, try to make them more socially active (make friends) etc.
Do not forget that children should NOT be subjected to a weight loss diet or program before consulting a nutritionist or a specialized doctor.
If you are trying to find the best ways to reduce childhood obesity, you might be interested in these solutions:
1. Include a lot of fruits, vegetables and whole-grain products in the daily meals
2. Reduce the consumption of saturated fat (fat meat, processed meat, bacon, sausages, egg yolks, butter, cream, ice cream, cakes, chocolate etc.) and sugar
3. Reduce the size of meal portions
4. Encourage children to drink water
5. Include low-fat milk and dairy products
6. Reduce sugar-sweetened beverages
7. Chose fish, poultry and other lean meat, lentils, beans, peanuts, almonds, seeds for proteins
8. Promote physical activity
Jumping rope, swimming, dancing, soccer and even walking – such physical activities are extremely helpful for preventing childhood obesity and also for health benefits like: reducing anxiety and stress, lowering blood pressure, strengthening bones, improving muscle structure etc. Sometimes, it will be easier to convince your child to exercise if you do it too. Bear in mind, those children who are overweight need at least 30 minutes of exercises daily.
9. No more than one or maximum 2 hours per day of TV, video games etc.
10. Do not reward children with food like candies or snacks – this will encourage bad eating habits
11. Insist on what not to eat at school
12. Be very careful to child’s emotions as certain eating habits might develop as a response to certain emotions (e.g. influenced by other children to eat junk food, to be accepted by the group etc.)
Children look first at their parents. So, when parents have a healthy life-style and make smart decisions in life, children will try to do the same. So you can stop childhood obesity by correcting your eating habits.
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