The growing problem of childhood obesity is challenging community based and commercial organizations. The health care industry is very concerned about the “epidemic” because the cost of care for these children continue to rise, and will continue to increase as these children grow into adulthood. Across Canada, 1 in 4 children considered overweight or obese according to the Ontario Medical Association. What can be done
Family cycling together -? Staying fit and have fun There are a variety of factors that contribute to obesity in children. These are genetic, environmental, behavioral and social issues. It is not a matter of eating or the practice or lack of willpower and self-control. However, if the problem is going to be addressed, it is down to personal and family commitment to make changes.
So, what can you do if you have a child struggling with their weight? The method I would recommend it comes down to food, fitness and fun for the whole family. This could be a significant lifestyle change, but if you are worried about your child’s health, it should not be too difficult. Here are some tips.
- Avoid skipping meals, especially breakfast.
- Working incorporating more home made meals in your diet instead of going out to eat or highly processed foods for the main meals.
- Try to include foods from at least three of the four major food at every meal. Plan meals and snacks so you have to choose a variety of nutritious, tasty food.
- limiting the sizes of snacks and limit snacks 1 or 2 a day. Select things like fresh fruit and yogurt or cheese, muffin or cereal with milk.
- Allow your child to enjoy their favorite foods in moderation.
Of course, exercise and generally are active is as important as how many calories your child consumes. We all know we should be more active in our general health and wellness. Here are some activity suggestions.
- Encourage your child to aim for at least 30 minutes of vigorous activity five days a week.
- For family activities, choose various family will enjoy.
- Select a task that can be done at home as walking, cycling, hiking and play games outdoors.
- Limit screen time (TV, video games and computer time) to less than 2 hours a day.
- If your child has a TV in their bedroom, remove it. A study showed that children have a TV in their room looked almost 5 hours more programming than those without.
- Exercise with your child and set a good example for them. Community or home exercise programs are the ideal solution.
As you can see, to deal with childhood obesity requires lifestyle change for the family. You can not expect your child to do everything on their own. Your role as a parent is to support your child’s change to a healthier lifestyle. In the end it will benefit the entire family for years to come.