There has been a general opinion in the medical industry that childhood obesity has hit its peak. As time went by, this view was shown to be rather optimistic. Recent studies reveal that nearly 20% of the American child population is suffering from obesity. Further, there are indicators that this number may continue to climb in the coming years. Obese children experience many difficulties as a result of their condition. Social anxiety and self-esteem are just the beginning. This concern can result in lasting health complications that can cause significant harm over time.
How Parents Can Take Steps To Slow Childhood Obesity
Children rarely get a chance to slow down these days. They start their day by rushing to school, then off to extracurricular activities and social time. Once home, they have hours of homework to get in and have to eat quickly before heading off to sleep. There isn’t time for healthy food preparation, being mindful, and staying active. Add the stress on top of this, and it’s a recipe for a lifelong issue with weight and health. Thankfully, there are approaches parents can use to try to ease these issues.
- Kids Imitate Parents – This isn’t something that happens consciously. Children learn by watching their parents and develop lifelong habits through this influence. If they see you constantly snacking, expect them to snack as well. The same can be said for using the gym to unwind and snacking on healthy foods.
- Moderation is Key – Sweets and fatty foods are great but should be consumed in moderation. A steady diet of these kinds of foods is, sadly, a perfect way to sabotage their health in the long term. Try to find healthy dessert options, like sherbet, sorbet, or berries and cream.
- Consider Screen Time – Screen time can be a serious issue for children, but some balance needs to be struck. There are a growing number of careers that involve spending a significant amount of screen time. Playing video games, streaming, and other areas like this can be essential to building a foundation for them. However, there still needs to be balanced in this. Consider investing in active games and devices and engaging with games like Pokémon: GO and Orna, which are both games that get them out and active.
- Keep Your Kitchen Clean – This goes beyond having the dishes done and counters clean. It means getting rid of sugary snacks and other forms of temptation. By putting unhealthy options out of reach, you’re able to make it easier to make healthy choices. You can also prepare healthy snacks like carrots and other cut vegetables and place them in easy reach.
These are just a minor selection of tips that can help reduce the number of children that are living with obesity.
Speak To Your Pediatrician For More Tips
Working with your pediatrician can help you ensure that your child has the best chance at a healthy future. Together you can develop an approach that will work best for you and your family. Call and schedule an appointment with them today!