Close to 18 out of 100 American children are obese and another 32 out of 100 are classified as either overweight or borderline obese. Almost 41 out of 100 Latino boys and 28 out of 100 White boys are either overweight or obese. Majority of these kids are in the South of the country. Compared to the adult obesity statistics, you would be forgiven for thinking that childhood obesity in the US is not that bad.
Well, this is where you are definitely wrong.
Experts agree that obesity is a major risk factor in the formation or development of cardiovascular diseases, endocrine and metabolic disorders, skeletal problems, some cancers, gallbladder disorders, and respiratory problems, starting obesity at a young age also increases the likelihood of these diseases occurring.
There must be a concerted effort to addressing childhood obesity. Here’s what you can do to help.
- Be a good role model. While it is one thing to teach kids about the importance of maintaining the ideal body weight, it helps a lot better if they can see you doing exactly the things you are telling them to do.
- Introduce healthier eating habits. Snack on fruits and not on sweetened and heavily-processed snack items and junk foods.
- Provide your family with more fruits and vegetables as well as whole grains. Include in your daily meal planning servings of fish, lean meats, beans, lentils, and poultry.
- Limit foods and drinks that are high in sugar, saturated fat, and sodium.
- Modify your kids’ favorite dishes by substituting certain ingredients with healthier alternatives. For example, instead of using ordinary cooking oil, why not use extra virgin olive oil instead?
- Encourage your kids to go out and play. Today’s kids are more couch potatoes in front of gaming consoles. An hour of hopping, running, jumping, and skipping in the park every other day should make your kids appreciate the importance of physical activity.
- Encourage your kids to enlist in a physical personal training program in Minneapolis for children. They can go swimming, playing football, or even dancing.
There are other ways in which you can help fight childhood obesity. However, as in any social endeavor, obesity management should start right in your own family.