Is Your child Likely to Suffer from Childhood Obesity?
Childhood obesity is becoming a major problem in the United States. Latest data from the CDC shows that 1 in 5 children and young people up to 19 years old in the USA are obese. These overweight children are likely to become overweight adults. They are also at risk of developing bone and joint problems, diabetes, and psychological issues such as low self-esteem and depression.
Factors that contribute to childhood obesity
There are many factors that contribute to childhood obesity. Genetics can play a role but there are other reasons such as
The environment we live shapes what we eat. Due to organized farming, food is plentiful in our homes. As such, whenever our children are hungry, all they do is walk to the fridge as opposed to going out to hunt. Not to mention, exercise is optional.
Lack of physical activity
Today, children spend most of their time in front of the television, on their phones or on the computer. They are spending less and less time engaging in physical activity such as playing sports or outside with friends.
Unhealthy eating patterns
Poor eating habits and poor choices of food also contribute to childhood obesity. Fast foods and sugary foods often dominate our diets because that they are quick fixes and taste good.
Hormonal problems are rarely found to be the cause of childhood obesity. However, it is worth getting blood work done to rule out this possibility.
How to prevent childhood obesity
Education and awareness are key in preventing childhood obesity. A few ways we can all be proactive in ensuring children eat and live healthy include:
- Parents can talk to their children about healthy food choices
- Whole families should adopt healthy eating and exercise as their lifestyle
- Keep fresh fruit or cut up vegetables within children’s reach
- Offer water or a low-calorie drink instead of soda or juice
- Make exercise fun by being creative
- Plan a hike together or go for a bike ride
- Schools should offer healthy meals and physical activity.
By educating our children at home and at school, we not only create healthy children, but also healthy future adults.