Childhood obesity is an epidemic that is happening all across America. With the proliferation of junk foods and sweetened drinks that are available to kids, it can be hard for parents to monitor exactly how much they are consuming. Also, the rise of mobile entertainment and video games have resulted in an increasingly sedentary population of children. For the lifelong health of your child, it is best to take action early on to correct any dietary or health issues before bad habits become ingrained. Children learn by example, so if you have trouble making the right dietary choices, chances are you are passing that hardship on to your children.
Childhood Obesity On the Rise
The statistics are alarming. Childhood obesity has more than doubled in children and quadrupled in adolescents in the past 30 years. Being overweight is characterized by having excess body weight for particular height from fat, muscle, bone, water, or any combination of these. We eat calories so that we have energy to do things. When we eat too many calories and don’t expel the energy, we start gaining weight. These can then be passed on through genes to our children. Encourage your children to get out and play for at least 60 minutes a day.
Diet is also a huge factor in the health of a child. Avoid giving your child sugary drinks (which includes juice) and opt for hydrating water. Watch portion sizes, the amount of food or drink that is suitable for an adult may be way more than a child’s small body needs. Also, limit foods such as cookies, crackers, and cakes. These items often contain partially hydrogenated oils, along with a slew of other unhealthy chemicals.
Encourage Healthy Habits
Buy fresh produce at the store, cut it up, and store it in the fridge where it is visible and easily accessible to encourage healthy snacking. Make sure that you have healthy options easily available to your child and they will be more likely to make good choices.
Healthy eating and a mix of physical exercise can lower the risk of developing diseases related to becoming obese. If you are worried about the health of your children or yourself, visit Dr. Jerod for some healthy lifestyle tips and routine checkups. We want you to live a long and healthy life.