The number of overweight and obese children in the United States is on the rise. To help prevent childhood obesity, parents and caregivers must encourage their children to make healthy lifestyle choices.
The Health Risks of Childhood Obesity
Children who are overweight can experience a wide range of risks, including psychological. The stress of social stigmatization of obesity can cause low self-esteem, which may lead to depression and isolation. Obese children also have a high risk of cardiovascular disease, high blood pressure, irregular glucose tolerance, and high cholesterol levels.
Combatting Childhood Obesity
Help Your Child Develop Healthy Eating Habits
A balanced and nutritious diet is essential to help your child grow and develop properly. Encourage your child to eat a variety of vegetables, fruits, lean sources of protein, and whole grains. Limit foods and drink that are high in calories and sugar. Instead, offer fruit-infused water. Not only will they stay hydrated and healthy, but they’ll enjoy the taste.
Help Kids Stay Active
Children and teens should have at least 60 minutes of moderate physical activity each day. This may include brisk walking, running, jumping rope etc. Encourage your child to participate in age-appropriate and enjoyable sports, such as soccer, football, gymnastics, or baseball.
Support Healthy Sleep Habits
A good night’s sleep is essential for good health. Dozens of studies have shown that people who get too little sleep may have a higher risk of weight gain and obesity. The National Sleep Foundation recommends 11 to 14 hours of sleep per night for toddlers, 10 to 13 hours for preschoolers, 9 to 11 hours for school-aged children, and 8 to 10 hours for teenagers.
Encourage Family Involvement
Children learn healthy eating and exercise habits from their parents and caregivers, so it’s important to be active participants in your child’s weight loss regimen. Making healthy eating and exercise a priority for the entire family will ensure that no one feels different or excluded. Turn off the television and head to the park for a day of fun physical activity and a healthy picnic.
Expert Health Consultations
For more information on preventing childhood obesity, contact the doctors at Lakeview Family Medicine. We continue to research the latest and best methods to solve all kinds of health problems.