WASHINGTON, July 25, 2017 – For many parents and children, the summer can be filled with a lot of wonderful activities, events, and seasonal fun. Unfortunately, for far too many kids, the same period will be marked with unhealthy eating habits that promote even more weight gain. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) there is a way to end the deadly childhood weight gain spiral now.
Childhood obesity is not new. In fact, for the past 20-years, scientists have been cautioning parents about the growing number of obese children and teens. This is a dangerous trend that can lead to an avalanche of severe health problems that will plague children and teens into their adult life.
Parents are in the driver’s seat when it comes to preventing childhood obesity. Fortunately, there are plenty of excellent resources that can assist parents in creating a healthy pathway for their children. Besides simply saying no to a child by denying snacks that are high in calories, a parent needs to develop a schedule that promotes a balance between caloric intake, beverages and physical activity – which is key for healthy children.
With the power of the wallet or purse, a parent can control the foods available in the house. Just remember, you need to replace high-caloric foods with tasty, fun and easy to eat choices. Ditch the caloric rich high-fat and high-sugar snacks like pastries, candy, cookies, chips and fried foods and have cut fruit, watermelon, and pineapple, in the refrigerator. Have sugar-free Jello squares, cheese cubes, frozen ice pops made with real fruit juices or fruit cubes that can be used to add fun to water.
Teach your child moderation, so that they are not faced with an all or nothing choice. Show restraint and teach restraint so that your child will benefit in healthier eating habits now and later in life.
It is always best to teach healthy eating habits from the very beginning, but if your child’s weight has crept up over his or her lifetime, its time to consult a physician and start a program to reduce their weight.
An overweight child’s health is not a condition that can be overlooked or ignored.
The medical ramifications are serious and can become deadly. According to the CDC overweight children can experience cardiovascular disease (CVD risks, which can include high blood pressure, high cholesterol levels and even abnormal glucose tolerance.)
In a population of teens and children from the age of 5 to 17-year-old, nearly 60% of overweight children had at least one CVD risk factor while 25 percent of overweight children had two or more CVD risk factors.
In addition, overweight children can also suffer from:
• Type 2 diabetes
• Sleep apnea
• Social discrimination resulting in psychosocial and medical risks
The social discrimination is even more prominent during the summer because even when parents encourage their overweight child to go outdoors to take part in normal seasonal activities, the child may feel stigmatized or fear ridicule, particularly when seasonal activities usually require light t-shirt, shorts or bathing suits.
The low self-esteem will continue to grow as the child stays indoor snacking and falling into a deadly spiral of decaying self-worth.
The CDC offers the following healthier weight-busting eating tips for families to grow by:
• Provide plenty of vegetables, fruits, and whole-grain products.
• Include low-fat or non-fat milk or dairy products.
• Choose lean meats, poultry, fish, lentils, and beans for protein.
• Serve reasonably-sized portions.
• Encourage your family to drink lots of water.
• Limit sugar-sweetened beverages.
• Limit consumption of sugar and saturated fat.
Okay, you are part of the way there. Now get your family healthy eating chart or calendar together with your family and check off good days and days needing improvement. Make this summer and the rest of the year a healthy choice to help your child lose the weight and gain a better life.
Now get your family healthy eating chart or calendar together and check off good days and days needing improvement. Make this summer and the rest of the year a healthy choice to help your child lose the weight and gain a better life.