Thursday, October 29, 2009

What Are The Factors Causing Child Obesity?

The graph of child obesity is very alarming throughout the world. According to various studies, it is found that obese children who weigh about twice their ideal weight were at significantly higher risk for diabetes, high cholesterol, and high blood pressure.

Modern lifestyle has become a bane to children’s health. Rather than playing outdoor sports, a lot of kids spend most of the day at home watching DVD movies or beating the highest score in the newest play station game. With both parents working full time, kids often have free rein over what they eat. To make up for the little time they spend with their kids on weekdays parents pander to their children’s liking for junk food during weekend outings.

Poor eating habit is a major cause of obesity among children. A sedentary lifestyle compounds the problem. Kids are eating more high calories fast foods, spending more time in the front of the computer monitor and TV screen and less time on physical activities. This applies to kids all around the world.

What parents can do to prevent child obesity?

* Keep a close watch on your children’s diet. Provide them with foods recommended in the food pyramid. Avoid empty calories – sweets, sodas, fried foods, foods with thick gravy, etc. Encourage them to opt for steamed, boiled or grilled foods instead.
* Give your children lots of fresh fruits, vegetables, and wholegrains. For a treat give them fruit instead of candy. Serve water instead of sodas.
* Make exercise a family affair. Go cycling or swimming take walks in the park. Physical activity burns calories and improves overall health. If your child sees you enjoying healthy foods and physical activity, he is more likely to do the same now and for the rest of his life.
* Gradually change your family’s physical activity and eating habits. Slowly introduce good food choices. Instead of removing all unhealthy foods, try reducing the portions first. If your kids feel deprived, they may crave for more.
* Establish regular eating times. Eat only at the dining table and not in front of the TV. Limit snacks.
* Reduce the amount of time you and your family spend in sedentary activities such as watching TV or playing video games.
* Help your overweight children maintain their current weight growing normally in height.
* Focus on your child’s health and positive qualities, not your child’s weight. Try not to make him feel different. Let him know he is loved and appreciated whatever his weight. Overweight children are probably more aware than anyone else that has a weight problem. They need support, acceptance and encouragement.
* If the child is morbidly obese, seek your doctor’s advice. The child will require proper supervision for weight loss as well as diagnosis and management of associated diseases.

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Disclaimer: This article is not meant to provide health advice and is for general information only. Always seek the insights of a qualified health professional before embarking on any health program.