Tuesday, July 1, 2008

What Parents Can Do To Prevent Childhood Obesity

by Jimmy Travers

In the United States today, obesity has become an epidemic. More children today are overweight than ever before. There are a variety of reasons for this. Sometimes weight control is a genetic problem. More often than not, overweight children eat unhealthy diets and do not get enough exercise. As responsible parents, we need to do our part to ensure that our children live healthy lives.

How can we tell if our child is overweight or just has ‘baby fat’? There is no real answer to this question because they are one in the same. Baby fat turns into pre-teen fat, which becomes adult fat. Most elementary aged children that have some weight problems still have those weight problems at age 12. Further, overweight teens are much more likely to be overweight as adults than teens that live at a healthy weight.

Genetics we cannot control. However, as parents we should do everything in our power to control our children’s diet and exercise. This must begin at a very early age. When feeding a child as a baby, we should learn to recognize the signs that the baby has had enough. We should wait until the right time to introduce new food to our children and should be careful of what they eat. We also don't want to use the television as a babysitter. We should make time to spend with our children and be active together.

One thing you can do to prevent any problems is regularly take your child to see his doctor. Talk with the doctor about your child's weight and where he should be for his age. If you are concerned about your child's weight between regularly scheduled visits, do not hesitate to talk to the doctor about your concerns before things get out of hand.

Once you have discovered that your child has a weight problem, you want to do everything you can to address the problem today, so it is not a problem when he is an adult. Make exercise fun for your child. Spend time at the park or the pool, if your area has one. Most importantly, remember that children will imitate what they see their parents doing. Provide a good example for your kids by participating in activities with them and encourage them by giving positive reinforcement.

Here are a few other tips to consider:

• Be enthusiastic about healthy food and give a variety to select from.

• Introduce new foods gradually.

• Allow your child to help you select foods from the grocery store.

• Teach them how to read labels and choose healthy foods.

• Buy less junk food.

• Serve realistic portions.

• Enjoy conversations at the dinner table, not TV.

The main thing to remember about obesity is that it is much easier to prevent than to cure. Take every step possible to help your child have a healthy life, minimize junk food and inactivity, and prepare your kids for a healthy adulthood. There are a lot of programs out there that claim to cure obesity, and they can cost a lot of money. These programs are also often a last resort. Instead of waiting until you must use a last resort, do your part as a parent to prevent the problem in the first place.

About the Author
Jimmy Travers educates parents about fitness and weight loss camp options for their overweight children. Please visit his site for more information and reviews. Get more information regarding overweight children.

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What Parents Can Do To Prevent Childhood Obesity

2 Comments

2 Comments:

At July 7, 2008 at 7:46 AM , Blogger Healthy Alliance said...

Those are some great tips for parents! At our blog we talk about childhood obesity and what can be done also. Please feel free to check it out and let me know what you think.

 
At July 18, 2008 at 9:31 AM , Blogger Luka Tunjic said...

At the moment the parents can’t nothing to do neither to help children nor to help them self to prevent or treat obesity because the basic science about weight gain/weight loss is based on misconception.

Before any recommendation how to prevent and treat obesity the government need to rethink about basic science. (That will be painful for scientific advisors on obesity)The theoretical basis on which is based any weight loss program, commercially or voluntary is wrong.

Today, we have the obesity problem that was unknown to any previous generation and on the other side we have crisis in basic science. The Basic science is wrong.

 

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