Over the years, the rate of childhood obesity has been a source of concern in some countries of the world. It is now so high that the Centre for Disease and Control (CDC) has reported that obesity rates have tripled in children aged 6 to 11 and doubled in adolescents aged 12 to 19, in the past thirty years.
This is a worrisome issue. If left unchecked, childhood obesity can have an effect on a child’s emotional, physical and mental well-being, in addition to putting them at risk of certain diseases including sleep apnea, high cholesterol, joint and bone conditions, high blood pressure and even cancers.
They would also tend to be withdrawn because of their sizes and most times experience bullying and stigmatization. As a parent, there are ways to prevent your child from being obese. Five ways to do this include;
1. Set A Good Example
Children are like sponges, soaking up and learning by sight and actions. If a parent eats all the time, binges on processed food and does not have a healthy routine, there is no how the child will be able to learn a healthy lifestyle. So lead by example; by eating healthy food, cutting down on sweets, incorporating fruits and vegetables into meals and exercising regularly, and they would follow suit.
2. Plan A Proper Nutrition
Parents are the ones who go food and grocery shopping for the family, so what is gotten is what the children would see at home. Even of their schools might give them sugary foods and fizzy drinks and they can be allowed sweets at home once in a while. However, their main meals should consist of foods rich in nutrients and vitamins.
Also, include them in food planning, as you would be able to know what foods they prefer, encourage them to eat right and try different foods, that way.
The refrigerator should not be stocked with canned ready-to-eat foods, fizzy drinks, and chocolates.
When such healthy foundation is laid for a kid, they will grow into it.
3. Discourage Sedentary Lifestyle
Statistics have shown that in America, an average child uses about 24 hours to watch TV. And when doing this, most of them would have something sweet to chew by their sides. If this becomes a habit, in addition to the child not being active, they will consume large quantities of sugar and without a way of working them off.
Therefore, the hours they spend on their mobile devices, computer games, and television, should be limited.
4. Replace Sitting Around With Physical Activity
Kids would always act like kids. Limiting them from watching too much television should not mean sending them up to their rooms to sleep. In addition to keeping the brain sharp and increasing potential for learning, physical activities keep them active, burning off unwanted calories and reducing the chances of them being overweight.
5. Do Not Focus On Weight Goal
In as much as you do not want your child to be obese, that is not what you should talk to them about. Instead of telling them how fat is ugly, teach them how to see life positively, make them learn healthy practices and love physical activity. Doing these would automatically sensitize them, making them strive for healthier bodies.