Obesity And Your Child

March 15, 2006 by  
Filed under OBESITY

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Obesity And Your Child. Stop The Cycle

My own personal concern with overweight children is that the children have not been taught by the school, their parents or their doctors the importance of nutrition.

Children need to be taught as soon as they go shopping with mom or dad how to pick healthy foods. Explain to them. Look at labels, tell them why you are looking at labels.

As they get older, make your child read the label of any food they would like you to buy. Help your child to be able to make a healthy choice themselves. Help them make these choices.

Teach! Teach! Teach!

Go to classes, read books and watch videos on nutrition. You do not need to go overboard,but, become aware of what you eat. Become aware of food and disease. Also, of food and health.

Obesity is defined as an excessive accumulation of body fat. Obesity is present when total body weight is more than 25 percent fat in boys and more than 32 percent fat in girls (Lohman, 1987)

The prevalence of childhood obesity in the United States has risen dramatically in the past several decades. Although 25 to 30 percent of children are affected, this condition is underdiagnosed and undertreated.

The world’s largest online library has tons of books and journals on childhood obesity. Just do a search for “largest online library”

The problem of childhood obesity in the United States has grown considerably in recent years. I know this also applies to Canada. Between 16 and 33 percent of children and adolescents are obese. Obesity is among the easiest medical conditions to recognize but most difficult to treat.

Unhealthy weight gain due to poor diet and lack of exercise is responsible for over 300,000 deaths each year. The annual cost to society for obesity is estimated at nearly $100 billion. Overweight children are much more likely to become overweight adults unless they change to a healthier lifestyle.

What is obesity?

A few extra pounds do not suggest obesity. However they can be warning signs to change to a healthier lifestyle, one that includes exercise and healthy meals and snacks… Generally, a child is not considered obese until the weight is at least 10 percent higher than what is recommended for the height and body type.

Obesity most commonly begins in childhood between the ages of 5 and 6, and during adolescence. Studies have shown that a child who is obese between the ages of 10 and 13 has an 80 percent chance of becoming an obese adult.

This is where we must start to intervene, and teach our kids how they can change the course of their life. I have noticed that food in the schools leave far to be desired. There are vending machines full of pop and junk food. Cafeterias serve French fries, gravy, and more junk food high in fats and sugars.

Children are smart, they can learn, they need to be shown and taught what is right for their bodies. They need to know they have choices! They need to know that choices can wipe out obesity.

What causes obesity?

The causes of obesity are complex and include genetic, biological, behavioral and cultural factors. Basically, obesity occurs when a person eats more calories than the body burns up.

If one parent is obese, there is a 50 percent chance that the children will also be obese. However, when both parents are obese, the children have an 80 percent chance of being obese.

Although certain medical disorders can cause obesity, ess than 1 percent of all obesity is caused by medical conditions. Contact your doctor. Get advice. Get help. Do not just sit and watch your child put on weight.

Go to nutritional seminars. Learn about nutrition, health and weight. Take your kids. Read labels. Learn what the ingredients on the labels mean. If you don’t understand even one ingredient, look it up.

Obesity can be caused by

poor eating habits
overeating or binging
lack of exercise (i.e., couch potato kids)
family history of obesity
family and peer problems
low self-esteem
when parents do not teach their child proper nutrition.
weh parents themselves set bad examples
too much television and computer.

When the body is idle, one tends to want to eat
depression or other emotional problems
And one of the biggest reasons! LACK OF EDUCATION! Lack of knowledge.

What are risks of obesity?

There are many risks, and some of the more obvious ones:

high blood pressure
heart disease
breathing problems
trouble sleeping
emotional problems
stomach problems, taking strong medicines already at an early age

Kids that are obese feel depressed and worthless. Sure, adults do too. Children are just short little adults. They have the same feelings of shame and embarassment as adults do.

Ways to manage obesity in children and adolescents include:

start a weight-management program Get the whole family involved
change eating habits. Go to nutritional seminars, classes, groups.
plan meals and make better food selections (eat less fatty foods, avoid junk and fast foods)

Involve the child.
go to cooking classes with your child
increase physical activity
know what your child eats at school. Make lunches. Encourage your child to help with lunch selections. Talk! Explain! Teach!
eat meals as a family instead of while watching television or at the computer
do not use food as a reward or punishment
limit snacking to healthy choices

Engage in family activities. Go swimming, bicycling, hiking with your kids.
Make good nutrition a family affair. Get a dog and go for walks. If you have a dog, take your dog and kid and go for daily walks.

Attend a support group (e.g., Weight Watchers, Overeaters Anonymous)

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NOTE: The contents in this blog are for informational purposes only, and should not be construed as medical advice, diagnosis, treatment or a substitute for professional care. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health professional before making changes to any existing treatment or program. Some of the information presented in this blog may already be out of date.

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