Childhood Obesity Tips – What Parents Must Know To Beat It

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Childhood obesity is far more serious than a child having a little extra baby fat. It is a rising health epidemic that is currently afflicting one in three children. Those are some scary numbers.

The rise in obesity in children can be attributed to unhealthy eating habits and not enough exercise. In this article we are going to take a look at health risks and problems associated with childhood obesity.

Obese children can face many physical and mental health problems. Their unhealthy eating habits along with a lack of exercise makes them prone to a host of health issues as they grow up.

Once a problem usually only encountered by adults, today the obesity epidemic is effecting children at an alarming rate. If that were not enough, obese children are developing diseases and health issues that were unheard of in kids in past generations.

Let’s take a look at some of the most serious health issues.

Health Issues

Type II Diabetes is one of the problems that can occur due to childhood obesity. This was a health issue that only adults developed in the past but now even young children are getting affected by it.

Asthma is another health risk associated with obesity in children. If a child already suffers from asthma then obesity can complicate the problem further as he grows up to be an adult. People who suffer from asthma have a weak respiratory system and an overweight body can further damage the respiratory system which can even prove fatal.

Obese children can also face mental health problems. Obese children naturally tend to suffer from low self-esteem due to their weight issues. Oftentimes they also become victims of bullying and ridicule from other children which can further hurt their self-esteem and confidence. Mood swings and depression have also been directly linked to childhood obesity.

Childhood obesity is a problem which absolutely cannot be ignored. Parents play a vital role in helping their kids develop healthy eating habits and a lifestyle that includes plenty of regular exercise. It’s the only way they can lose weight and grow up to be healthy adults.

Impact on Self Esteem

Childhood obesity is a worldwide problem that is having a negative impact on more young people than ever before. Family lifestyle and food habits are two of the biggest factors responsible for obesity among children. In addition to physical health problems, obese children often suffer from low self-esteem. Without proper support and help they can develop other serious mental disorders like mood swings and depression.

Overweight children often develop a negative body image as they face ridicule and even bullying. This can hurt their self-esteem which can impair their ability in leading a happy and successful life. Parents need to get involved and lend their guidance in helping their child shed the extra weight. This includes giving all the love and support their children need so that they don’t suffer from self esteem because of being overweight. They must be taught to be happy and proud about being the individual they are and focus on the positive aspects of life.

Self-esteem is an important part of a person’s healthy development as it affects behavior, thoughts and actions. Human beings develop their self esteem throughout their life and the process starts very early in life. You can develop low or high self- esteem depending on life events and circumstances that you face especially in the early years of life.

Obese children are prone to developing low self-esteem but parents and other family members can play a role in helping them achieve high self-esteem despite their weight problems. Every child is different and inherits different personality traits from their parents. This determines how they interpret and react to various challenges and circumstances in life which can have a major impact on their self-esteem.

Parents can help their child develop healthy self-esteem by praising and encouraging them for their efforts and achievements. Getting kids involved in activities that they enjoy also helps them to build the necessary self-esteem they need. Childhood obesity is a serious problem but it is not an insurmountable problem. Proactive parents can help their child lose weight, get healthy and feel good about themselves.

The Link Between Childhood Obesity and Depression

Childhood obesity can have devastating effects on the life of a young person. These effects go beyond just the physical health problems that can develop. Obesity can also threaten a child’s mental health. Obese children often face mental health problems like mood swings and depression and often suffer from low self esteem and confidence. Research has shown that obese children are at a much greater risk of suffering from depression compared to kids who have a healthy body weight.

The strong connection between depression and obesity subsequently leads to most overweight children facing depression at some point in their lives. Ridicule, name calling and even bullying naturally takes a serious toll on an obese child’s psyche. They may lose interest in things they once normally enjoyed and choose to avoid meeting new people.

Obese children who have low self-esteem oftentimes avoid exercising or playing sports because they fear being made fun of by others. This only adds further complications to their weight issues. Parents play a vital role in helping their child overcome their weight problems. Taking responsibility for helping their overweight child, parents can aid them in avoiding depression and experiencing low self-esteem.

Early Signs of Depression

Parents need to watch out for early signs of depression in their obese child. These include certain behaviors such as a reluctance to meet people and socialize, getting sad or angry for no reason, sleeping a lot or too less etc. With an already low self-image and lack of confidence, it is quite common for obese kids to develop additional unhealthy behaviors as stated above.

Parents Make a Huge Difference

Parents can make all the difference in helping to motivate their child to overcome their weight issues. Obesity is a serious health condition which should be never ignored as it can lead to more complicated health problems like depression. Remember that obesity and depression are strongly interlinked and parents need to ensure that they provide all the love and support they can to their child.

With their parents’ assistance, obese children can overcome their challenges and lead a healthy life free of depression.

Causes and Prevention

Obesity in children is a common problem today which has reached epidemic levels. It has become a serious threat to the health of future generations. Diabetes, high blood pressure, sleep apnea are serious health issues which only affected adults in the past but now even young children are facing these health problems.

The time has come to work strongly against childhood obesity and ensure that our future generations are fit and healthy. In this article we will discuss about some of the most common causes of obesity in children and what steps can be taken to prevent it.

Causes of Childhood Obesity

Junk Food:

Obesity in children occurs for a number of reasons, with a consistent diet of unhealthy foods being the primary reason. Kids are loading up on junk and processed foods that are low in nutritional value and high in calories and fat. These foods do nothing to help a young growing body and instead add on extra pounds that contribute to childhood obesity.

Kids who don’t receive help in combatting this problem from their parents and people around them grow up to be overweight adults with the likelihood of developing a number of serious health problems.

Lack of exercise:

Lack of physical activity is another reason for obesity among children. Many children spend several hours every day watching TV or playing video games on the computer. Parents need to curb this habit immediately and make sure their kids are getting enough physical activity throughout the day. It goes without saying that an active a child will burn more calories and will be less likely to become obese.

Parents need to encourage their children to stay active and explain to them the benefits of regular exercise and physical activity. One of the best ways to drive home your point is to get active yourself. Your example will make a huge difference toward helping instill good habits in your child.

For example, set aside some time to get the whole family together for a game of Frisbee or tag. It doesn’t have to be anything elaborate or complicated. The point is that everyone will have fun AND they will get the physical activity their bodies need for good health. Do this consistently and it will ensure your kids don’t become obese and you also get fitter and healthier.

Prevention of Childhood Obesity

The threat of childhood obesity continues to grow with no end in sight and future generations will suffer from many needless health problems that could be prevented. Because parents are their children’s greatest teacher, they must take the lead to ensure to help their kids stay healthy. Parents need to eat a healthy and nutritious diet themselves in order to encourage their kids to do the same.

Keeping kids physically active is also vital in preventing obesity. Limit TV and computer time and instead encourage more time on the playground with friends. You will have healthier kids who will thank you later for taking the initiative to safeguard their health.

Common Myths

Obesity in children has become one of the most common health problems of the 21st century. The reason for this worrisome trend is unhealthy eating habits among young children along with a lack of physical activity.

The good news however, is that children can overcome obesity, lose weight and lead a healthy life. The key is teaching them to make healthy food choices and the importance of regular exercise.

Many people think that childhood obesity is almost unsolvable and there are several myths which complicate things. In this article we will bust some common myths associated with childhood obesity so that parents can approach it with proper knowledge and attitude and help their children move towards a healthier life.

Here are some of the most common myths about childhood obesity:

1) Follow a Diet Plan to Lose Weight

Parents who have an obese child often think that they can put them on some magical diet plan which will help him lose weight and become healthy. The fact is that most fad diets are harmful for your child and promise big and deliver little. If you put your child on any of these fad diets they may either not lose weight at all or lose a lot of weight in a short time. Losing weight quickly is never good and in fact may be harmful to a child’s health.

The worst part about these diets is that they often lack nutritional value which can have a negative impact on the healthy development of your child. Avoid these diet plans and instead encourage your child to develop healthy food habits which will not only help them lose weight but also will greatly benefit their overall health in the future.

2) Obesity is a Hereditary Problem

People have the misconception that obesity is a hereditary problem and if parents are overweight their children are certain to face obesity problems. The fact is that even if parents are overweight their children can maintain a healthy body weight if they follow a healthy diet and lifestyle.

3) Obese Child Lack Motivation to Lose Weight

Let’s face it, obesity takes quite a toll on any kid’s self-esteem. Parents need to focus on the positive qualities of their child and appreciate their achievements. Parents can play a vital role in motivating their child to develop healthy food habits and exercise regularly. This will help them lose weight and improve their self-esteem and confidence.

As a parent, if you take a proactive approach towards helping your child lose weight, you can make a huge difference. Your example and encouragement will go a long way towards getting your child healthy and continuing to practice the positive habits that will keep the weight from coming back.

Easy Tips for Busy Families

Childhood obesity is afflicting more kids than ever before. It is a dangerous epidemic that seems to have no end in sight.

Obesity has more than doubled in children and quadrupled in adolescents in the last 30 years (Ogden, et al., 2014; National Center for Health Statistics, 2011; U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, 2012)

Parents have no choice but to take the bull by the horns and step up to help their kids lose weight and lead a healthy life as an adult. According to researchers most obese children grow up to be obese adults and therefore suffer the resulting health issues that are a result of being overweight.

One problem that faces parents today is a lack of time to help their child lose weight. Most parents lead a busy lifestyle and have a limited amount of free time. At the same time, obese children need the support and encouragement of their parents to achieve a healthy body weight.

Fortunately there are things that even a busy parent can do to help their kids adopt a healthy lifestyle and lose weight.

1) Eat Fruits and Vegetables

Fruits and vegetables are a great source of vitamins and essential nutrients. Parents must make them a part of every meal kids eat. Eating fruits and vegetables every day ensures that your child is consuming a healthy and balanced diet. Keep in mind that your example also contributes greatly to your child’s habits so it is important that you are also eating a healthy diet.

Another important point to remember is that fruits and vegetables also help boost body metabolism which will help your child lose weight.

2) Healthy Snacks

Kids love snacks and smart parents can use this as an opportunity to get them to eat healthier foods. Instead of loading the fridge and pantry with chips and soda, parents need to load up on things like baby carrots, apples, oranges and other fruit, nuts, whole grain bread, celery sticks, low fat yogurt and bottled water. Kids who have access to only healthy food items will get into habit of eating better which will contribute greatly toward maintaining a healthy body weight.

3) Encourage Kids to Stay Active

Kids today have become couch potatoes and it has had a detrimental effect on their overall health. Busy parents may feel challenged in terms of time when it comes to getting their kids more physically active.

With a little creativity, finding time for exercise is not quite as difficult as it may seem. Things like a 15 minute walk in the morning or after dinner, afterschool/weekend sporting activities at school or the local park, walking the family dog, riding a bike, and playing games like basketball or baseball with friends, etc. – are some ways to squeeze in more physical activity for kids.

Parents can make all the difference when it comes to helping their children stay healthy and rid themselves of excess weight. Using some creative planning allows even busy parents to contribute greatly to their child’s overall health.

Healthy Eating for Kids

Modern society offers us so many conveniences – computers, cell phones, hot and cold running water, etc. At the same time, there are some not so great things about this day and age as well.

Fast food, junk food, processed food – call it what you like but the bottom line is that it is BAD FOOD. With little nutritional value, these foods are nothing more than tasty fillers that pack on the pounds for anyone who eats them regularly. One group especially prone to consuming these foods are kids.

The principles of healthy eating taught to kids from a young age is one of the best ways to keep them physically fit. Eating fresh fruits and vegetables ensures that they are getting all the nutrients and vitamins they need without adding excess calories to their diet.

Parents often run into one common problem across the board when it comes to getting their kids to eat healthier. Their kids do not like to eat fruits and vegetables. Knowing the seriousness of childhood obesity, parents must find ways to get their kids to eat more nutritious foods. It is vital to their health today and in the future.

Fortunately, with some ingenuity and strategic planning, parents do not need to feel helpless. There are ways to get even the fussiest eaters to consume more vegetables and fruits. Let’s take a look at what can be done.

1) Set an Example

Kids are eager learners and they learn from examples. You can’t expect your kids to show interest in eating vegetables and fruits without eating them yourself. You have to make a transition to healthier eating habits to motivate your kids to eat fruits and vegetables.

Children emulate what they see around them so you have to set the right example now to help them grow into strong and healthy individuals.

2) Get Them Involved

One of the best ways to generate interest among kids towards vegetables and fruits is to get them involved in planning meals and cooking the food. When they are a part of the process they have a stronger tendency toward eating what they have helped to prepare.

You can take them with you when buying vegetables and fruits and let them choose what they love. You can also ask for their suggestions when planning a meal and also take their help in the cooking process. This will make them feel good about the contribution they made in preparing the meal which again makes it a lot easier to get them to eat vegetables and fruits.

3) Get Sneaky

Sometimes a parent has to do what they have to do. That includes using some creative tactics to get their kids to eat better.

Here are some healthy substitutions you can use in your meal preparations that your kids will never suspect:

  • Skip the oil when baking and substitute unsweetened apple sauce instead.
  • Drop in some healthy greens such as spinach or kale when preparing smoothies.
  • Cook some squash, mash it up and then freeze in ice cube trays.
  • The next time you make a stew, soup or sauce, throw a few of the ‘ice cubes’ in while cooking. They will add nutrients to the meal and no one will ever know they’re in the food.

No one denies that it can be a challenge to get kids to eat healthier. All of the ads on TV for junk food do not help either. At the same time, however, if you continue to work towards a healthier lifestyle on a daily basis, you will make huge strides over time.

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