Kicking Childhood Obesity

Childhood obesity is the one of the most serious problems affecting our children today. It’s such a huge problem that our first lady has taken that on as her cause during her husband’s term in the White House.  Children who are obese have a higher chance of being overweight as an adult and increasing their risk factors for heart disease, type II diabetes, and certain types of cancer.

According to the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention three times more children are considered obese now than just one generation ago. The combination of quick convenience foods which are often high in sugar and low nutrition and low levels of physical activity are putting our children at risk for a lifetime of health issues. Fat kids grow up to be fat adults and fat adults die sooner than thin ones.

We’ve heard for years that breakfast is the most important meal of the day and studies back that up. Of course, in the era of convenience foods and working parents it’s hard to put together a home-cooked meal while getting the kids and yourself ready to go out the door.  A good breakfast doesn’t mean sweating over a hot stove for hours, as even a low sugar breakfast cereal or granola bar is better than nothing. Also, don’t overlook the power of Mother Nature’s first convenience food- fruit! It’s the perfect food for eating on the run. If you find yourself frequently reaching for something easy to cook or driving through for meals, take some time at the grocery store to find some new foods that are healthier and don’t require hours to prepare.

Go outside! Encourage your children to take up some physical activities, riding a bicycle, getting involved in organized sports, or just playing kickball with the neighborhood kids are all excellent ways that they can be more active and less likely to become a butterball. A lot of parents are afraid to let their kids go outside and play because of their fears of abduction. If this is a concern of yours, then why not take the responsibility for putting together a neighborhood watch? Get to know your neighbors and let them get to know your child. Keeping your child cooped up like veal may keep them safe from random abductions, but is the risk worth it? If you let your child outside there are potential dangers. If a kid spends their childhood penned up in their home there are other (and almost certain) consequences. Send your kid outside to play. It’s not only good for them, it’s good for you.

A lot of factors come into play when looking at childhood obesity, but the biggest one is the family. If mom and dad are tubby then chances are pretty good that they’re going to have kids with a weight problem. If you’re overweight it’s never too late to make a change. The kids may be upset for a while about losing their cookies but in the end teaching your children healthy eating habits is one of the most important things you can do as a parent. Of course, a healthy body isn’t just eating right. Keep regular sleep habits and make exercise a family routine. See your physician and dentist regularly and take your kids to the chiropractor for an adjustment whenever it’s necessary. Good health doesn’t just happen. It’s a habit we teach our kids that they carry throughout life. And it just might do you some good too.

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This article is made available for general, entertainment and educational purposes only. The opinions expressed herein do not necessarily reflect those of The Joint Corp (or its franchisees and affiliates). You should always seek the advice of a licensed healthcare professional.