There is a 70% likelihood that an overweight child will become an overweight or obese adult. That number goes up to an 80% likelihood if one or more parents is also overweight or obese. The total number of obese children in the U.S. has tripled since 1980. As many as 16% of all children are either overweight or obese. That’s a one in fifteen chance that your child is now overweight or obese. So what can you do if your child is that one in fifteen kids who is overweight or obese?
How to Make Sure Your Kid Doesn’t Become Overweight or Obese
First, recognize that there might be a problem. If you do have a child that is overweight, then the first thing to do is look at yourself. Are you overweight or obese? Are you eating a nutritional and healthy diet that helps you maintain a healthy weight? You see where I’m going with this. If you don’t get your own house in order, it’s going to be difficult to convince your child about the dangers of being overweight or obese. Go and fix you first.
Once you have your house in order, it’s time to start making some basic lifestyle changes. You need to make a record of your child’s eating habits. What sort of foods are they eating and which types of food are most likely making them overweight? Now don’t just eliminate those foods. You have to replace the bad foods with good foods. Gradually introduce more healthy foods into the everyday diet. Make every meal a weight loss meal. That means whole, raw foods, lean meats, low-fat dairy products, and very small portions for dessert.
Get Your Kids Back Home to Eat Healthy
According to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, only 21% of children are eating the recommended five or more servings of fruits and vegetables each day. If your kids are eating away from home at a fast food restaurant, or even at school, it’s going to be difficult to control their eating. If you eat out every night for dinner and on weekends, it’s going to be even harder. One of the best changes you can make in your child’s healthy eating habits is to plan and prepare most meals at home. If you cook at home, you’re going to maintain more control over what they are actually consuming. Yes, it’s more work, but aren’t your kids worth it? Check online for some great, healthy recipes and meal plans.
Get Active and Get Your Kids to Join You
Again, the studies done by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services indicate that today’s kids are far less active than kids just 20 years ago. As kids get older, they are also less likely to be physically active. Less physical activity means less calories are burned. One study showed that more than a third of adolescents are not getting enough physical activity. As many as 1 in 10 kids is classified as completely inactive. Combine all that with a diet high in fat and you have a recipe for an overweight or obese kid.
If you want to have kids that grow up and maintain a healthy weight level throughout life, then you’re going to have to get up off the sofa, out of the office a bit sooner, and make a commitment to get physical with your kids. If you make the activities interesting or fun, your kids will be glad to go along with you. Besides, most kids want to spend time with their parents and you can have some deep discussions during those times.
Time to Face Up to a Growing Problem of Childhood Obesity
It’s very obvious that obesity among kids is a growing problem and it’s not getting any better, or so say most adults. According to a recent Reuters poll, adults consider obesity to be the number one threat to their kid’s health and believe that the obesity problem is getting worse. Look, if you’re a parent of one of those 15% of overweight or obese kids, it’s time to get motivated to make a change for the better. Get out there and make a better life for you – and your children.
U.S. Department of Health & Human Services; “Childhood Obesity”
MayoClinic.com; “Childhood Obesity: Definition”
Yahoo!News/Reuters; “Obesity top threat to children’s health: poll”