Posted on 08-08-2012
Childhood obesity has more than tripled in the past 30 years, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Programs across the country are targeting fitness and nutrition for kids. But are these kids overweight only because of video games and junk food?
There are other factors such as emotions, stress and parental guidance that have a big effect on childhood obesity.
Stress management is an important factor in a healthy lifestyle. As adults, we are more often likely to become stressed then a child. However, even children, especially if they are overweight, tend to experience stress, particularly due to ridicule.
School, popularity and friendships can all become sources of stress for children. Many kids who are overweight tend to eat lightly or less in front of others. When they get home and in a comfortable zone, binging occurs. These children find joy alone in isolated activities or online (being exposed to who knows what). By themselves, they are able to eat without anxiety or stress.
Weight control is a family issue. Parents can only help their children when they are ready and able to help themselves.
There are many ways to help your children stay healthy and lessen their stress. Start by removing sugary and enriched white flour foods from the pantry and refrigerator. By removing the junk food at home or only offering healthy snacks and water, children are forced to cut back their sweet cravings and reach for something more wholesome. Also try cutting down television or video game time and instead take walks around the neighborhood or play outdoor games. These activities promote practice in social situations and will keep their imagination going, stimulate the brain, and help promote a sense of accomplishment.
Limit Fast Food
Fast food restaurants are a major contributor to childhood obesity. Fries and hamburgers are a pretty easy taste to acquire as a child and are loaded with trans fatty acids (the kind that promote systemic inflammation, disease, and heart problems). Once the child likes the taste, they begin asking mom and dad for those meals.
There are many reasons a parent might choose a fast food meal over a home-cooked healthy meal. Sometimes parents don’t know how to prepare meals so they resort to easy options. Also, fast food is a time saver. Many parents today are working long hours while juggling their kids’ activities. Grabbing fast food is a short-term stress helper for parents, but can become a long-term stress starter for kids and their weight.
School, friends and even family can all be stressors for kids when it comes to their weight. Parents have to be on board for healthy eating and activity before a child can make the changes.
Have a blessed day folks. If you need some help with some truly scientific guidelines to feeding yourselves and your kids check out our Nutrition @ Noon section of our website www.wellnessoneofredding.com for PDF class notes on nutrition!
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