Obesity in children

Obesity in children

 

The percentage of children that are overweight in the world is increasing at an alarming rate.  Many children are spending less time playing or exercising, and more time in front of the television, computer and video games.  The reality for most parents is they have little time to prepare nutritious, home made meals, because of their life styles and hectic schedules.  But to help children from becoming overweight means juggling a few things for parents, and adapting the way your family eats and exercises.

 

Children become overweight and obese for a variety of reasons.  Weight problems can run in families, but not all children with a family history of obesity will be overweight. A significant effort can ensure a child’s diet and activity level of play is very important in determining a child’s weight.

 

Children are surrounded by the media that makes it easy to overeat and harder to be active.  Children watch television and commercials and a lot is related to fast foods, and soft drinks, many foods today are processed and are high in fat and contain too much sugar.  Parents also need to be educated on what foods are healthy and nutritious for their children, the schools can also take an active part in educating the children on what foods are important for their health and growth.

 

The rise in the number of overweight children is alarming, because it can lead to health problems which can lead to social problems.  Children tend to tease other children that are overweight, which can cause the child to have low self-esteem or body image problems.  Once a child is overweight it requires a lot of effort and commitment for them to return to a healthy weight and life style, often times an overweight child becomes an overweight adult and the circle continues.

 

Enhanced physical activity programme’s continue to be used in preschool and schools.  It is important that a child starts young, they feel better and happier, ensuring the steps in activities will continue into adulthood.  The schools do a very good job of supplying many active programs for children, remembering each child is different, so having varied activities the child can choose from will ensure the child enjoy’s him or herself and will continue a healthy path.  There are also many clubs and sports team children can join, learning to work in a team situation and enjoying physical activity at the same time.

 

Parents can involve the whole family in fun and healthy habits.  If children see adults being physically active and having fun, they are more likely to be active and stay active. Whatever the approach parents choose to help the overweight child, the purpose is to not make physical activities and healthy habits a chore.  Throughout any process or program always be supportive and positive. Reward successes with praise and hugs, tell them they are loved, special and important.  Children’s feelings about themselves are often based on how parents or caregivers feel about them.

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