A tragedy we face today is childhood obesity. Over time, its place in our country has changed dramatically because more and more young individuals are facing this burdensome condition. Based on studies, it is found that childhood obesity has tripled in the last thirty years . Now 1 in 3 children are overweight or obese. One in five children are obese with risk factors of heart disease, such as high blood pressure, high cholesterol, and abnormal glucose intolerance .
It is even more alarming because more parents are unaware that their child is having an obesity problem . In fact, many parents are overweight themselves, and therefore are not sure what to do to help their kids .
A parents weight is a significant consideration in the child’s health . If parents have average weight, the child will only have a 10% rate of being obese. If one parent is overweight, the chance is 40%. However, if two parents are overweight, there is a whopping 80% chance that the kid will also be overweight. This is the reason why a 2009 study in the UK projected that the most effective way for solving childhood obesity is by first educating parents .
Most researchers believe that its less difficult to prevent problems in weight rather than to actually treat them. They believe that at an early age healthy dietary habits must already be establish. Educational tools such as Build-A-Plate for kids should be used to educate parents and children about the “how, what, and why” to healthy eating. Build A Plate is an interactive software program that offers a dietician approved healthy diet for kids that will aid in healthy weight loss for kids. “Build-A-Plate is a tremendous tool to teach our children how to eat healthy for a lifetime.” says Mark Samuelsa, director of health and education.
The problem lies in the unawareness and lack of admission of parents that their children are facing obesity issues. How can they instruct their children when they don’t even understand it themselves ? Parents ultimately decided what goes in the mouth of their children. More often than not, they succumb to their children’s consistent pleading to eat delicious yet unhealthy foods. This is a terrible mistake. Parents should require that their children are on a healthy diet for kids.
Kids watch their parents carefully , so if their parents skip eating breakfast or if they are not exercising, they will imitate the same things. Because of this, it is not surprising that children often turn to junk foods that pose serious threats in the health. This is why values on eating habits should be instilled in a child’s life at an early age.
Parents can help prevent childhood obesity by spending time and watching after their children’s eating habits. The long hours kids spend in front of the television or gaming console should not be tolerated for they only promote inactivity. It is for sure better to take them outdoors for physical activities.
Remember, children that are obese can start to develop factors that increase heart disease at any age. Heart disease is the number one cause of death in the United States.
It is vital to begin and maintain a new habit of nutritious eating and regular exercise . It might seem hard at first to convince children, but all the efforts will pay off in the end when they are steered from the path of full-blown childhood obesity. We all must act now to make a difference.