Monday, December 26, 2011

Children and Obesity - A Serious Health Concern

Posted by Sarah Sweetz Akhza at 6:30 AM
Children and Obesity - A Serious Health Concern

Children and obesity is something that is becoming a serious concern. Overweight children have a terrible social stigma, as well as many health concerns. Many children that are overweight, are at a higher risk for the development of type 2 diabetes.

It is important to impress upon your child from the time they can eat at the table, healthy foods. Introduce foods such as vegetables, whole grains, healthy cereals, and fruits. Keep a lot of these healthier foods around the house and healthy snacks such as granola bars, low-fat snacks, and things of this nature. Avoid keeping a lot of fattening foods around in the first place, since this is what creates bad nutritional habits and sets a child on the wrong path with food. By doing this, you are setting the stage for your child making better food choices, and heading off obesity to begin with.

Another problem that contributes to childhood obesity these days along with improper eating habits, is lack of activity.

There are way too many video games, television shows, and many other interests that keep children from getting out and exercising. It is important to encourage your child to exercise daily, whether it be walking, bike riding, or activities such as ping pong ball, badminton, or anything that burns calories. Avoid making exercise a chore, and instead, make it fun by using a reward. This creates motivation for an obese child to keep exercising and helps them to slim down.

When obesity is a problem for your child, your doctor together with a dietitian should be able to assign your child or children a well balanced meal plan that includes the right amounts of fruits, vegetables, proteins, dairy, and starches which should be whole grains. Following a sensible meal plan with your child will help them to eat well, have tasty foods if the plan is done right, and lose unwanted weight. Snacks should be included which are healthy and low calorie, yet fun to eat. Your child's dietitian should have some great ideas and resources to use.

Above all, it is important to educate your child or children about the many health problems which stem from obesity. You also don't want to keep lecturing your child about their weight problem as this can set the stage for an eating disorder later. But instead, encourage healthful habits, and at the same let them know that by avoiding obesity, they will become healthier people.


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