Obesity in children is become a large problem. In the U.S. the over-weight trend is growing, with 1 out of 3 children being classified as overweight or obese. Children are spending more time inside and less time playing outside. We are seeing fewer home cooked meals and more ‘fast and easy’ calorie-dense solutions. This is becoming a serious problem, as being over-weight is linked to large variety of health and social problems. Some of these problems may include:
- development of unhealthy eating disorders
- increased risk of depression or drug abuse
- elevated blood pressure and high cholesterol with an increased risk of type 2 diabetes
- joint and bone problems
- shortness of breath, this makes exercise, sports, or any physical activity more difficult
- restless or disordered sleep patterns
- liver and gall bladder disease
It’s is important that parents are proactive. Parents can prevent obesity by supporting and working with their children. Some suggests are:
- Remove any ‘clean your plate’ policies. Kids should stop eating when they are full.
- Encourage outdoor activities and limit time spent playing computer games and watching TV.
- Don’t make food restrictions or limitations. Children will resist strict limitations, it is better to support and encourage health eating.
- Eat meals as a family. This is a great way to make sure kids are eating wholesome foods.
- Be a good role-model. If you need to lose weight, now is a great time to start.
Remember, no matter what your children weigh, show them that you love them.