Guard Against Childhood Obesity

One in five children in America are obese, a ratio that reflects dramatic increase in recent years, and parents are now stepping up to battle childhood obesity in their own families.

The fact that the average child watches four hours of television per day combined with the popularity of video games makes it a no-brainer that children aren’t getting enough exercise.  A sedentary lifestyle combined with poor eating habits naturally leads to weight gain.

Obesity is a serious issue because of the overall impact on health.  An obese child in most cases becomes an obese adult.

Some of the health problems that are attributed to obesity in children include:

* Heart disease
* Diabetes
* High cholesterol
* Bone problems
* High blood pressure
* Unsightly skin conditions

There are also psychological consequences to gaining too much weight.

Obese children are cruelly teased by their peers. One study shows that obese kids rate their quality of life at a rate similar to children who have cancer and are undergoing radiation treatments.

There are so many negatives attributed to childhood obesity, it behooves parents to fight for prevention of obesity in their children.

Guarding Against Childhood Obesity

What should parents do if they realize one of their children is tending toward obesity?

The solution isn’t necessarily an easy one because the entire family should take steps toward better health together, rather than singling out an overweight child.

Making some lifestyle changes may be called for, which could be a very good thing.

Choose a physical activity that the entire family enjoys, such as biking, walking, swimming, or playing tennis. Getting active as a family should be as much about fun as it is about exercise.

A child needs to be active for at least one hour per day.

If your family transitions to a more active routine, be sensitive to the needs of the children. Certain activities may cause overweight children to feel embarrassed or uncomfortable. Be sure that each child enjoys family activities.

Eating family meals together at a dining table has been shown in many studies to have multiple benefits for children. If plenty of fruits and vegetables are served at mealtime, it’s a practice that could contribute to the prevention of childhood obesity.

One crucial step parents can take to prevent childhood obesity is to buy the right groceries. Keep lots of healthy, low-fat snacks on hand and stay away from chips and sugary treats that contribute to weight gain and have no nutritional value.

Stephanie is the senior writer for an online marketing firm and proud mother of the two greatest kids ever. When she’s not watching Gray’s Anatomy, she reads up on Velashape Cellulite Treatment and follows Sono Bello on Twitter and Sono Bello on Facebook.

By: Stephanie Teskers

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