How to Prevent Childhood Obesity

One out of every five children in this country is obese.

If weight is a struggle for the whole family, make sure the whole family is taking steps to make a change.

Childhood obesity occurs when a child has significantly higher than normal weight for his/her age and height. It’s important to know what parents can do to prevent this troubling weight issue before it’s too late.

 

  • Do as I do, not as I say. Good parenting involves setting a good example, especially when it comes to eating and exercise habits. If your child sees you enjoying exercising or eating right, then he/she is more likely to want to join you. If weight is a struggle for the whole family, make sure the whole family is taking steps to make a change.
  • What’s up, doc? It’s essential to take your children to the doctor once a year for well-child checkups. Their height, weight, and BMI (body mass index) will all be measured, so you can easily track changes from year to year and get advice from your pediatrician.
  • Think healthy. It’s important to focus on overall health improvements and not just weight loss. Promote an overall healthy lifestyle for you and your family.
  • Patience is a virtue. Sometimes, children simply grow out of being overweight. You may not see changes overnight. An overall patient outlook will also soften the negative feelings your child may have as a result of being overweight.
  • Pencil it in. Keep your family’s meals on a healthy schedule, including snacks. Make sure your fridge and pantry are stocked with a variety of healthy food options for everyone. The more routine healthy eating feels, the more it will become a lasting habit.
  • The family that eats together… Involve the whole family in healthy eating and exercising. Setting overweight children apart can contribute to unhealthy habits that result from low self-esteem. Plan fun physical activities for everyone, like swimming or group bike rides.

It’s essential for parents to take responsibility for the health and wellness of their children. And the sooner your children adopt healthy habits, the better they will be in the long run.