Childhood obesity is increasing concern for parents and healthcare professionals. Increasing weight since young age as less as 2, 3, 4 years is impacting quality or life and health status of kids. Experts suggest the percentage of childhood obesity has increased within last 30 years. Data in 2008 suggest that more than one third children were seen as obese or overweight. Changing lifestyle, decreased activity levels, more indoor work and activity, consumption of processed food and calorie dense food are major contributing factors to childhood obesity.
Parents and kids can go with following top 10 ways to prevent childhood obesity:
- Teach them the importance of breakfast: breakfast is an important meal of the day. It gives you energy for whole day’s activity. Healthy breakfast helps in improving work out put, concentration, energy levels etc.
- Make meal a family time: family time is important for kids. As parents you need to be a role model for them. Encourage healthy eating habits. Make a healthy meal and enjoy with your kids. Having a positive talk can also provoke them to get in to healthy eating.
- Do not use food as reward: since childhood kids get food as reward, typically foods like chocolate, sweets, desserts etc. let’s not associate food with any good or bad deed. Eg – ‘one completion of a given job I will give you an ice-cream. ‘It must be avoided.
- Mind sweets and sugar in the diet: as adults, growing kid also have recommended requirement of nutrients like carbohydrates, proteins, fats etc. including too much sugar and desserts may harm their health in long run. Simple sugar plays major role in weight control. High sugar products also contain high amount of fats. At the same time it affects their dental health too.
- Get active with them: activity is an important thing. In today’s time everyone is following busy schedule and not able to dedicate the time for activity, kids must spend 2 hours in outdoor activity daily. Experts suggest parents must limit kid’s time on computer and TV to less than 1.5 hrs per day. At the same time they need to increase time spent in outdoor activity.
- Plan meal along with them: involve kids in meal planning and teach them the importance of including veggies, fruits in daily diet. In this process they can also give their inputs and get satisfaction.
- Provide supporting environment for healthy eating: providing supportive environment for healthy habit is very important. In schools, home, day care center healthy eating and behavior can be taught. Encourage them to adopt healthy habits when they are in group. Peer pressure works a lot for school going and teenage kids.