4 Tips to Prevent Childhood Obesity
Childhood provides an important opportunity to develop healthy lifestyle and eating habits from an early age. In this article we’ll provide tips to help prevent childhood obesity.
Childhood obesity is a serious health problem that’s unfortunately becoming more and more common. It may seem hard to believe, but in many cases parents are the main cause of childhood obesity.
Changes today will prevent diseases tomorrow
If you want to help your children maintain a healthy weight, you need to balance the calories they consume with the calories they burn through physical activity.
Keep in mind that the goal for overweight children is to reduce the rate of weight gain and, at the same time, allow for healthy growth and development.
If you notice that your child is gaining weight considerably, it’s time for you to go to the pediatrician. You must also start making certain changes in his or her lifestyle.
This will decrease your child’s chances of suffering from illnesses such as asthma, diabetes, high blood pressure, and cardiovascular diseases in the future; as well as psychological illnesses such as depression and low self-esteem.
The best advice to prevent childhood obesity
Here is a list of the best tips to help prevent childhood obesity.
1. Encourage healthy eating habits
- Offer and get your children used to eating a lot of fruits and vegetables and lean meats like chicken and fish for protein.
- Serve reasonably sized portions.
- Encourage your children to drink plenty of water throughout the day. Drinking plenty of water can make them full and less tempted to eat unhealthy foods.
- Limit sugary drinks and junk food.
Don’t forget that small changes during childhood can help you promote healthy eating habits that last a lifetime.
2. Keep them active
Another key to helping prevent childhood obesity is doing physical activity and avoiding a sedentary lifestyle. Although reading time and silent homework is good, limit the time that children watch television, play video games, or surf the Internet.
Keep in mind that in addition to being fun for children, regular physical activity has many health benefits: strengthening of bones, weight control, increased self-esteem or reduction of stress and anxiety, among others.
Don’t forget that children imitate adults, so maybe it’s time for you to also start doing some physical activity or, better yet, do it with your child.
3. Limit the consumption of electronic devices
With all the devices that currently exist, most children prefer to be at home in front of their video consoles instead of playing with other children.
Spending time glued to electronic devices, such as watching too much television, is closely related to overweight children.
Limiting these sedentary activities is one of the keys to encouraging little ones to do more productive activities that are beneficial to their health. When they’re older, they’ll have time to spend hours and hours in front of the computer!
4. Don’t let children eat while watching TV
Finally, we recommend not letting your children eat while watching television. Apart from limiting family time and promoting lack of dialogue, your children will never realize that their stomach is full.
This is because half of their attention is consumed by their favorite show on the screen. Also, eating in front of the TV can also lead to poor digestion and stomach pains.
Before ending, we want you to remember that all members of the household should be involved in these changes, regardless of body weight, so that no child feels isolated.
Follow the tips in this article to help prevent your children from gaining excess weight and adapting an unhealthy lifestyle. All positive change starts with desire.It might interest you...
All cited sources were thoroughly reviewed by our team to ensure their quality, reliability, currency, and validity. The bibliography of this article was considered reliable and of academic or scientific accuracy.
- Pandita, Aakash et al. “Childhood obesity: prevention is better than cure”Diabetes, metabolic syndrome and obesity : targets and therapy vol. 9 83-9. 15 Mar. 2016, doi:10.2147/DMSO.S90783
Tips for Parents–Ideas to Help Children Maintain a Healthy Weight. Centers for disease control and prevention. [Online] Avaiable at: https://www.cdc.gov/healthyweight/children/index.html
- Population-based approaches to childhood obesity prevention. World Health Organization. 2012. [Online] Avaiable at: https://www.who.int/dietphysicalactivity/childhood/WHO_new_childhoodobesity_PREVENTION_27nov_HR_PRINT_OK.pdf