According to the American Heart Association, a staggering 1 in 3 American children and teenagers are considered overweight or obese. This is now the number one health concern, surpassing both smoking cigarettes and drugs. Physicians are seeing children with high blood pressure, high cholesterol, and an increase is Type-2 diabetes diagnoses. The situation is so pervasive and serious that some experts worry this may be the first generation that has a lower life expectancy than the subsequent one.
Pediatricians and school social workers are also seeing an increase in behavioral and emotional issues along with the weight issues, problems like low self-esteem and depression. Unfortunately, these physical and psychological health issues that result from being overweight can follow a child into adulthood. Here are three ideas to help make sure your child doesn't become a statistic.
Implement Regular Exercise
With the advent of the internet, a cable television system with hundreds of channels, and expensive gaming systems, children aren't nearly as active as previous generations of kids were. In the past, kids were always running around outside, playing ball with the other neighborhood children or riding their bikes. Now, the popular hobbies, namely playing games and hanging out on their phones, have led to a sedentary lifestyle at a very young age.
Get your child enrolled and involved in an organized fitness program or sport. Check with your local YMCA or health club for classes specifically tailored for children. Dance lessons, swimming lessons, and kids' kickboxing classes are all excellent options to keep children active and in shape.
Provide Healthy Snacks
If you are like most parents, you have probably fallen into the common habit of buying boxes of dessert cakes and pies, bags of chips, sugary juice pouches, soda, and fast-food convenience items for their after-school snacks. These are all high-calorie, empty-calorie snacks that provide little or no nutritional value. Instead, offer snacks like fresh vegetables and dip, fruits, nuts and sunflower seeds, and low-fat yogurt and cheese.
Re-evaluate Family Meals
Children are at the mercy of what their parents feed them. If your eating habits aren't healthy, your child's eating habits won't be, either. Assess what kind of meals you are making each night. If you find you are frequently serving take-out, fast-food, or convenience foods in a box that came from your grocer's freezer aisle, it's time to update the meal plan. Choose real, whole foods that you typically find around the perimeter at the grocery store: fresh produce, lean meats and fish, and low-fat dairy products. Avoid the center aisles with boxes, bags, and cans of processed foods.Share
7 March 2017
Growing up, I had a weight problem. In school, I was usually the largest kid in my classes. When I was a teenager, my mom bought an aerobics video. One night, when the rest of my family members went to a restaurant, I stayed home alone. I decided to do aerobics. Immediately, I was hooked. During the next year, I lost over 30 pounds from exercising. Almost 20 years later, I still enjoy exercising regularly. And, I weigh the same I did in high school --just in muscle. On this blog, you will discover how exercising regularly can help you maintain a healthy weight for life.