Monday, April 30, 2012

School and Childhood Obesity

Many parents struggle to get their children to lose weight, often resorting to forcing diets and exercise on their children who want nothing to do with the different food and additional exercise. This often strains a relationship between parent and child and can lead to feelings of resentment and depression in youth. Educating children about the problems associated with obesity also appears to not work well as children continue to be less active, despite a growing body of knowledge showing that activity is essential to healthy living. Weight loss camps are successful because they remove children from their normal environment. However, attempting to make drastic changes at home is often much more difficult because of factors that most parents fail to consider. Beyond diet and exercise, there are a number of factors that contribute to the growing obesity problem. The social environment that surrounds children today can be a factor in negatively influencing your child and/or reinforcing bad health habits. For example, consider the notion that public schools are often underfunded and use revenue from vending machine companies who pay to place their machines in the schools to make up some of the difference. When was the last time you saw a vending machine that did not have any junk food in it? I can't remember either. Yet, our schools are packed with vending machines that are full of junk food that kids consume on a daily basis. Sure, some of the options in vending machines are healthier than others, but kids really can't win with any of them and how many of us would have passed up a candy bar for a pack of nuts when we were in high school? That's what I thought Also think about the amount of time that children have to eat lunch at school. Most schools have a lunch period that is somewhere between 15 and 40 minutes long. This time includes time to eat but many people often forget about the other things kids have to do during this period like get to and from class, go to the bathroom, go to a locker, wait in line for food, and so on. This translates to very few children actually having enough time to eat a healthy lunch. Instead, many kids opt to eat foods that are easy to eat and quick - which generally are high calorie foods, sodas, and so on. The point here is that there are more factors to consider when trying to fight childhood obesity than most people realize, which is why many parents have a hard time getting their child to lose weight. No matter what you do at home to help your child, there are still plenty of times where you will not be around to enforce a strict diet, which is why children need to learn how to make healthy eating choices on their own. A great place to learn these skills is a summer weight loss camp for kids. These camps are great because they get kids away from the daily hustle and bustle and allow them to completely concentrate on learning how to better take care of themselves. About David Kraft David Kraft is a freelance author with many areas of specialization. He promotes healthy living for today's youth and provides information about teen weight loss camp. You can learn more at his

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School and Childhood Obesity

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