‘A fat body makes lean mind,’ said someone. And you certainly do not want to deal with the child. So here’s a wake up call childhood obesity has taken epidemic in the United States. It is today the most common pediatric medical problems in the country. In an era of fast food and video games, to prevent the child from becoming obese is a challenge.
It is quite alarming to note that the study earlier this year by the Centers of Disease Control and Prevention shows that 32 percent of children were overweight, 16 percent were obese and 11 percent were extremely obese. Obesity also appears to be more common among boys than girls. The problem reached crisis proportions, even junk food makers have stated that children should be steered towards a more healthful choice. So what are the causes of childhood obesity and how can you prevent it?
“Children have never been very good at listening to their elders, but they have never failed to imitate them,” said James Baldwin on California’s Child Obesity Conference 2003. Children themselves are not solely responsible for the problem . Adults have a big part in it too. Parents need to develop a healthy lifestyle to promote healthy lifestyles in children. Also, most parents spend enough time with children to encourage physical activity every day. As a result, children spend most of their time playing video games or watching TV, growing up to be couch potatoes.
Junk food and soda have been the main contribution too. A study conducted by the Kaiser Foundation, a nonprofit organization, found that the effects of junk food advertising was 8-12 years old children, as they are unable to distinguish between advertising and television. This age group is exposed to about 21 junk food ads a day. Therefore, the need to avoid junk food advertising on television aimed at children. But before blaming the TV ads or junk food manufacturers, here’s what you can do to prevent your child from becoming obese
- Make your child aware of the ill effects of eating junk food and the benefits of eating fruits and vegetables.
- Encourage your child to participate in a good amount of exercise every day. Make them practice.
- Screen TV-viewing habits and ensure they do not spend too much time in front of the TV.
- Develop a healthier lifestyle and act as a role model for the child, the child imitates you.
It’s time to give this some serious thought, because obesity can cause major health problems such as type 2 diabetes, hypertension, dyslipidemia (disruption of lipid in the blood), chronic inflammation and blood insulin increase (excess circulating insulin in the blood). It can also cause cardiovascular disease at a later stage. Obesity can be very difficult to cure, of children who are obese are prone to obesity lifetime. So think about it. It is in your hands to make a child live a healthy life!