8 Ways to Fight Childhood Obesity
Erica Sanderson | Feb 24, 2014
While childhood obesity rates are on the decline, it’s still a prevalent problem in the U.S. Obesity in children is linked to increased risk of high blood pressure, diabetes, and stroke later in life. Early obesity prevention is crucial. Here’s how you can keep your kids on the healthy track.
Limit screen time
Today’s culture revolves around sitting. Kids sit almost all day at their desks and then come home to sit in front of the computer or TV. According to a recent study, children who watch more than two hours of TV daily are at a higher risk of developing obesity. So get your kids moving! Chase them, play ball, assign chores—do whatever you can to keep them active.
Enroll them into a sports team
We all had to do things we didn’t want to as a child. While your kid might complain at first, they may actually end up liking soccer or basketball and make new friends along the way. Pick a sport that requires vigorous exercise, as the Centers for Disease Control recommends children get at least 60 minutes of daily physical activity.
Get your child’s school involved in a health program
Be proactive at the pediatrician’s office
Parents might not know their child is overweight. Pediatricians are supposed to monitor these patterns and tell parents early on to begin preventative measures. However, a 2012 study indicated some pediatricians failed to communicate a child’s weight problem to their parents. Ask about your child’s weight at the doctor’s. If you feel the doctor is not devoting enough attention to this issue, switch doctors.
Use fun health education
Teaching your children about health is important. What’s the best way to do that? According to a recent study, kids that played health-centric video games were more likely to select healthier foods than kids who did not play health games. Check out this list of health game options for kids.
Brown bag it for lunch
A recent study indicates children who eat school lunches have higher risks for obesity. Changes to kids’ school lunches are being implemented, but will kids make the right choices on their own? If you prepare a lunch, you can take that gamble out of the equation by knowing exactly what they’re eating and how much.
Set a good example
Young children look up to their parents, often copying their behaviors. So set a good example for your children by eating healthy and exercising regularly. Remember: You are the biggest influence in their lives in the beginning, so it’s important to be a good role model before they’re out on their own.