(Written by Wendy Derbyshire and Edited by Elle Yi) The current statistics on obesity prove that childhood weight gain and obesity is on the increase. According to the most recent statistics showing in 2008, the rate of obesity among children and adolescents in the United States has nearly tripled between the early 1980s and 2006. This is due to unhealthy eating habits in your child, including irregular exercise, the regular consumption of sweet treats between, and a diet high in saturated fat. Some children can be fussy with their diet while other children will overeat and consume far too many calories.
Parents have a responsibility to encourage their child to eat healthily, but activity can go a long way to reducing weight gain in children. Think about taking your child regularly to a park with climbing equipment and a large field to encourage social activity with other children.
- Increased Overweight and Obesity in Children
Thirty percent of children aged approximately 2 to 15 are overweight or obese. Children or adults who continue to retain this weight are prone to diseases like type-II diabetes, cancer, and cardiovascular disease. Excess weight can be the cause of childhood bullying and confidence issues, although you must focus on the happiness of your child.
Childhood obesity can cause a range of health related illnesses and diseases in adult life, especially if the cause of the weight gain is not controlled. High blood pressure and high cholesterol are two large factors. Childhood obesity can lead to adult obesity, and most weight related illness and diseases are treatable through medication.
- Getting Children off Fatty Soda – The Bitter Truth for Your Family
The healthiest bottled drink is water, but children also enjoy consuming sugary fizzy drinks, often between meals and at school. These drinks are loaded with calories, and low fat varieties contain the sugar substitute, aspartame, which is linked to attention deficit hyperactive disorder (ADHD). When researchers gave children either sugar or high fructose corn syrup, the children who received the high fructose corn syrup experienced a change in behaviour, while the sugar did not create a significant difference in behaviour. All food and drink labels indicate the calorie and sugar content, which is helpful, but sugar-high fructose corn syrup is an addictive substance that can lead to weight gain and tooth decay in children. Why not ask your child to help around the house in reward for a sweet treat, rather than to allow your child to take advantage through sulking or bad behaviour?
- How Can I Help My Overweight Child?
Children like to play so encouraging your child to go out with friends or to a park can be a good way to reduce their chance of developing childhood obesity, especially if your child loves to eat junk food and drink sugary soda in between meals. Your child can then enjoy sweet treats and fizzy drinks without you having to worry about whether he or she will gain weight. The main reason why playground activity is such a popular option in controlling childhood obesity is because your child is making friends, burning calories, and having fun. Climbing up and down the stairs to the slide is one particular exercise that burns a lot of calories, but so too is any group activity like frisbee or football. Tag is another fun game. Activity also tires out your child so there is a chance that he or she will be less rebellious before bedtime.
- To Summarise
Most children are fussy eaters, which is why any type of sugary snack is a popular option. However, the regular consumption of fizzy drinks and sweet treats can encourage childhood obesity, and this can be the leading cause of unhappiness and childhood bullying. If you are overweight or obese then you will not want your child to follow in the same footsteps as you. Encouraging your child to engage in regular activity can burn calories and prevent childhood weight gain or obesity.
About the author: Wendy Derbyshire is a writer who considered the role of a playground. Maintenance helps to keep the equipment safe so that children can engage in activity and burn calories.