Obesity occurs when more calories are taken in than are burnt off. A child is considered obese based on their BMI (Body Mass Index), a comparison of their weight and height and growth patterns. Alarmingly, one in three children in the US are overweight or obese. Research shows that children with weight issues will most likely have weight management problems as an adult. Heart disease, high blood pressure, joint issues, diabetes, and emotional problems are just some symptoms attributed to the risks of obesity. Check out the suggestions below to help curb this growing epidemic among today’s youth.
- Provide Healthy Snacks- Skip the fast food restaurants and provide healthy snacks instead. Nuts, fruits, and cut up vegetables are great alternatives to high calorie processed foods
- Make Dinner Together- Get the whole family involved in the cooking and make everyone feel part of the process. Experiment with recipes. Kids will be more opt to try new things when they are involved in the creation of it
- Get Outside and Exercise- Sitting and watching TV is the perfect excuse to snack. Instead, encourage everyone to go outside and do something fun. Walking, biking, or even just tossing a ball around all qualify as exercise. Enjoy the great outdoors! Not only are you doing something healthy, but spending quality time to
- Avoid Sugary Drinks- Sodas contain a large amount of sugar. Provide water or natural juices as a substitute.
Prevention of obesity is easier than treating it. Be a good example by exercising regularly and eating correctly. A healthy life-style as a child helps create the path to one as an adult.
Cynthia L. Ogden, PhD1; Margaret D. Carroll, MSPH1; Brian K. Kit, MD, MPH1,2; Katherine M. Flegal, PhD, JAMA, http://www.cdc.gov/obesity/data/childhood.html
About the Author
Abbey D’Costa is the BaySport Program Manager in Sunnyvale, CA. She is responsible for the day to day operations of the onsite fitness center and implementing wellness initiatives. She is AFAA group exercise and personal trainer certified. Outside of work she enjoys running and spending time with her family.