Preventing Childhood Obesity

by Sam Malone


More and more young children are becoming obese. obesity can lead to myriad health problems and can turn kids into unhealthy, unfit adults. The effects of childhood obesity are bad and negative because it prevents kids from leading a healthy, active and normal life. It also promotes bad lifestyle habits that children will follow all through their lives. Thus, it is important to identify and prevent childhood obesity and it could be done by following some simple rules.

Causes of Childhood Obesity: Several factors can cause childhood obesity. Unhealthy lifestyle habits, genetics, over eating and lack of exercise or playtime can all cause childhood obesity. These days, fat-laden fast food and easy to get and pre-packaged meals are more popular with kids than simple, home-cooked healthy food. Even parents prefer unhealthy and quick food because it saves them the cooking time and effort. Due to the busy schedule of children and parents there is less emphasis that is put on healthy eating and regular exercising. With more and more gadgets that are found in homes, life has now become more sedentary.

Children spend more time in front of the computer, gaming console or television, thus spending less or no time for outdoor games. Also, watching television for longer hours leads to over eating and unhealthy eating. Another reason for childhood obesity is family lifestyle and the examples that are set by the parents. Parents often tend to spend more time in front of the television, shun exercise and eat fatty foods. Children tend to follow what they see at home, and this is a major cause of childhood obesity.

Prevent Childhood Obesity: Early identification is the best way to fight childhood obesity. It is therefore important for that you take your child to a pediatrician and take the necessary precautions that have been advised.

Changing your lifestyle habits can also help control or prevent childhood obesity. Offer your child healthy, home-cooked meals. Include fresh vegetables, fruits, lentils, beans and whole-grains that have been cooked into low-calorie but delicious meals. Set a limit to the amount of food your child eats at meal times. For snacks, offer salad sticks and baked or boiled snacks. When you go shopping for food, teach your child how to buy healthy foods and teach them the importance of good food choices.

Encourage your child to play sports or participate in some form of exercise. A good game of good old-fashioned football, a swim or a game of badminton every evening could help them shed the extra weight and prevent them from putting on more weight.

Change your own lifestyle too, and lead by example.


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