A lot of new health concerns abound that have parents constantly worrying about the safety and happiness of their children. As difficult as it is for the parents, how the children deals with all the many struggles they are facing in their young lives is already quite a challenge. They say prevention is better than cure, so how do you save your child from childhood obesity?
Knowing what causes childhood obesity is a good start to avoiding it. Once you know the root causes, it will be easier to prevent its onset well before it becomes a huge problem. Some major causes of childhood obesity are:
- Children who lack exercise or activity, even something as simple as running with friends around the neighborhood, or playing sports like basketball or baseball, often fall prey to childhood obesity. We eat much more easily available nourishing food today than the past generations did, and lives have become a lot more sedentary.
Consequently the amount of calories children get from their food can be very high. Inactivity is a sure way to make sure your body stores those extra calories.
- Highly sugar foods and drinks such as popular breakfast cereals, fruit drinks, iced tea, or sodas. Teaching children to drink water instead of high calorie alternatives can greatly reduce a tendency toward obesity.
- Eating junk food - which is exactly like “eating junk.” Your child’s body has no room for these unhealthy and excessive calories.
There absolutely are no positive sides to childhood obesity. In fact there are only negatives. What is more, the worst effects can be psychological and emotional distress, along with the obvious physical burden that this disease brings. Many children who are overweight suffer from low self-esteem and often depression because of their problem.
They can also be exposed to higher risks of ailments such as gastrointestinal problems, high blood pressure, heart disease, and diabetes. While a child suffering from obesity may have a struggle ahead of him or her in overcoming the condition and its effects, a crucial factor in for each individual is the support and understanding of parents and family.
Children who do well in school or perhaps those who excel in other extra-curricular activities can often be given sweet treats that contain refined sugars as a reward. Much like Pavlov’s dog, some of these children may end up doing good things to get the treats. While this can be construed as positive reinforcement its underlying effects can get out of control.
Try rewarding your child with healthier tasty treats instead, or reward them with other alternatives like going to the mall, watching a concert, or going on a trip. Avoid stocking up your refrigerator with sweetened drinks in order to encourage your children to drink more water. If they are thirsty, they will drink water if that is all that is available.
Let your child become engaged in sports and other physical activities like dancing. Children who are already on the heavy side, need at least 30 minutes of daily exercise, like walking, and gradually increase the intensity.
But, even if your child is already suffering from obesity, do not put on added pressure. Emotional triggers can already be an entrenched element in this condition. And sometimes, children develop the habit of eating to respond to the emotions they are feeling.
While food, especially junk food, can provide some children with a sense of comfort, the physical effects of emotional eating can actually provoke depression or other negative feelings which fuel the need to seek further comfort.
As a parent, it is up to mums and dads to put an end to this cycle. As in all things, children need guidance and instruction to allow them to make sensible decisions with respect to healthy food and physical activity choices.
With the right formula, parents can save their children from a lifetime of poor health. The best solution is to lead a good example in your household, talk to your children about the food choices that you make for yourself and them, and your family’s lifestyle will ultimately fall into place.