Fighting Childhood Obesity

by Catherine Rein
(last updated May 8, 2009)

Millions of children in this country are at risk of childhood obesity. We can and should do more to address this epidemic. Our cultural exposure, especially in the U.S., has increasingly been overwhelmed with food. Whether through advertisements for fast food or diet treatments, we are constantly bombarded with images of food.

Our environment is also increasingly sedative, with few safe opportunities for children to pursue physical activity. Take every opportunity to be physically active with your kids, increase the opportunities available for you and your children to be active, whether it's playing in the park or walking to school.

There are many other things we as parents can do to help our children avoid being overweight. Here are some of the main areas of consideration:

  • Physical Education. You should try to be physically active at least 30 minutes each day (adults) or 60 minutes a day (children). Parents can help model physical activity for their children and provide a safe environment for children to play in. You should reduce the amount of time spent watching TV or playing video games, these sedentary activities should amount to less than 3 hours a day.
  • Nutritional Food Options. You should avoid using food as a reward for your children's behavior. Be sure to stock the refrigerator with plenty of low-fat milk, fresh fruit and vegetables instead of soft drinks or snacks that are high in calories or added sugar.
  • Education. You should remind your children that they are loved and appreciated no matter what their weight. Parents should give overweight kids the support and encouragement they need and cut back on the criticism. Help your children build a healthy body image and they will have a lifetime free of eating disorders and high self-esteem.

Children suffering from obesity are more likely to suffer from high blood pressure and diabetes as well as many other health problems that can last for the rest of their lives. Being overweight as a child also makes it much more difficult to maintain a healthy weight as an adult.

Above all be a good role model for your children. When they see their parents eating healthy foods and enjoying fun physical activity, they will be more likely to live healthy lives themselves. Model a healthy body image and healthy mindset about weight for your children. These are keys to avoiding eating disorders in the future. Teach your children to stay away from the scale and enjoy healthy food and physical activity. Instruct kids on the ways to strengthen their body and live fulfilling lives.

Author Bio

Catherine Rein

MORE FROM CATHERINE

Refinancing Your Mortgage

Whether you are looking to refinance to move from an adjustable rate mortgage to a fixed rate, or are trying to reduce the ...

Discover More

Treating Sunburns

Sunburn can be serious and there is no quick remedy to undo the damage. You can reduce the worst sunburn symptoms and skin ...

Discover More

How Safe Is Your Bank?

The federal government provides several safeguards to protect your savings and investments. The Federal Deposit Insurance ...

Discover More
More Health Tips

Obesity Diseases

Not only can obesity make you uncomfortable with how you feel and look, but it can also cause other serious diseases. Read on ...

Discover More

Gastric Bypass Complications

Knowing the risks associated with gastric bypass surgery is on the the first step in determining if it is a good choice for ...

Discover More

Possible Gastric Bypass Complications

If you are thinking of undergoing any of the operations that fall under the heading of gastric bypass, you may want to be ...

Discover More
Comments

If you would like to add an image to your comment (not an avatar, but an image to help in making the point of your comment), include the characters [{fig}] in your comment text. You’ll be prompted to upload your image when you submit the comment. Images larger than 600px wide or 1000px tall will be reduced. Up to three images may be included in a comment. All images are subject to review. Commenting privileges may be curtailed if inappropriate images are posted.

What is seven minus 5?

There are currently no comments for this tip. (Be the first to leave your comment—just use the simple form above!)