How to Avoid Health Effects of Obesity in Childhood

As parents in a fast food society, we all need to know how to avoid the health effects of obesity in childhood. We all want what’s best for our children, we want them to live long, healthy lives. It would have to be most parents worst nightmare to outlive their children after all. The problem is that in this fast food society, an increasing number of children will experience lifelong health issues related to obesity. The health effects of obesity in childhood have become a growing concern in many developed nations where childhood obesity is estimated to effect as much as 33% of children in some places.

The longer someone is overweight the more likely they are to experience obesity related health issues so if they are overweight from childhood then they will be younger when they develop obesity related diseases. Everything from heart disease and diabetes to psychological issues like depression and anxiety. For more information on specific obesity related diseases read this post on the Health Effects of Obesity in Childhood.

There is hope however. Children have a huge learning capacity to learn to healthy food and exercise choices, but it has to begin with parents. Did you know that it only takes an average of 21 days to change a habit, that’s how long it will take a child to learn healthy eating habits. It’s important to remember that even our favorite foods are mostly habitual and that it is possible to retrain ourselves, at least to a degree. While your child may never like spinach, with time they may find that apples or sultanas will satisfy their craving for sweet foods just as effectively as ice cream used to.

Here are a couple of things that you can begin with today that will help retrain your children with regard to their eating and exercise habits:

  1. Lead by example, don’t just tell them. Telling a child to do something you don’t do yourself is a sure fire way to end up looking like a hypocrite in their eyes. It’s like telling them that smoking is unhealthy while we are chain smoking ourselves. While it can be difficult to lead by example, it’s something we need to do. It’s not sufficient to tell a child they need more exercise or that they can’t eat fast food several times a week, it’s up to you to start preparing healthier meals and prove to your children that you don’t expect them to do anything you’re not willing to do yourself.
  2. Set aside and half an hour everyday (or an hour every second day) to spend time together getting some exercise. Make it something fun. Take the dog for a walk, go to your local park and fly a kite, go for a family bike ride. If the kids like game consoles play one of those active games like Wii Sports. If they like dancing then get a Zumba kit. These activities will teach your child that exercise can be fun and you will have the added benefit of spending more time together and improving your own fitness.
  3. Reduce the amount of high energy, high fat foods you store in the house. When you go grocery shopping load up on healthy snacks such as fruits, vegetables, low fat popcorn, nuts, raisins, etc. You probably need to retrain yourself as well as your children.

Following these tips will not only help our children but we will also benefit from them ourselves. We all want our children to live long and healthy lives so it is important that we commit to assisting them to exchange bad eating and excercise habits with good ones in order to avoid the potentially serious health effects of obesity in childhood.

source : weightlosstips4kids


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