Since the 1970’s the percentage of children with obesity has more than tripled. Approximately 1 in 5 school aged children are obese.
When one looks at the increase in fast foods and the increase in electronics and the cyber world it is not surprising that childhood obesity has become epidemic. As childhood obesity rates rise the next generation of teens will be obese, then adults, then seniors. Obesity is the leading cause of morbidity, disability, discrimination, and employment problems. Obesity today is as large of a public problem as tobacco use and exposure.
It’s easy for any of us to become lazy, even with discipline. When we combine bad eating habits with genetic conditions that predispose children to be overweight it is no wonder obesity rates are steadily rising. Parents play a key role in promoting healthy lifestyle choices for their children.
Medical professionals see this as a major public health concern that is threatening to damage our most precious resources, the children. Efforts to fight this epidemic have included the introduction of healthy play, healthy food choices, and recreation to promote physical activity.
A survey conducted by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has come to the conclusion that as many as one third of U.S. children are overweight or at high risk for childhood obesity. The health problems that will begin to manifest themselves from the heavy weight of so young in life will start kids down a road with problems such as high blood pressure, high cholesterol, and increased risks of diabetes. These are diseases that usually strike adults, not children.
Fighting this trend must begin at home with the caregivers for these children. Improving overall diet and exercise is the key to resolving the problem. Protecting children’s health now and in the future will depend greatly on education of parents and caregivers to implement healthy daily living strategies.
There is help!
I’m working with a program created and designed for overall health and wellness. Not only will his program help parents, but will put the focus on family fitness and healthy lifestyle choices.
Preventing an at-risk child from becoming overweight can start a process of healthy and active lifestyles to ensure longevity and energy throughout the child’s life. Little things such as: not getting into power struggles with the child over food, never use food as a behavior modification tool, and setting a good example are some starting places. This only perpetuates the same behavior and may cause psychological behaviors that are unwanted.
Focusing on the positive benefits of changing behavior can make all of the difference in the world. Embrace your child’s natural inclination to please you, have fun, and explore as they provide perfect opportunities to introduce fun fitness routines to their everyday life.
Always keep in mind the health of yourself and your children. By keeping in shape yourself and displaying a good diet, you can impress upon them the importance of good health. The habits will stay with them for life. The benefits to to will not go unnoticed either!