Three Steps to Help Prevent Childhood Obesity

05.02.2012 | by:


Childhood obesity is rising faster than we can say freeze. About 1 in 5 school-age kids are obese (1 in 3 in some cities). You might think that even if “baby fat” is still accumulating in elementary school, kids don’t need to be worried or concerned about the same scary health risks that adults do. There’s ample time to turn things around, right? Not so much.

Heart disease isn’t for grown-ups any more. If you have overweight kids and preteens, they can have heart disease by age 15 or 16, according to new research. And although girls’ heart health seems to bounce back to normal if their weight does, in boys, heart dangers can hang on.

Ready? Help your child get healthy now:

Do as I do: Kids are often like a video camera with the sound off and tune out what you say, but watch everything you do. If you are obese, there’s an 80% chance your kids will be, too. So ditch the junk and be a role model.

Relax as you eat: Family meals should be fun with playful conversation (“Hear any good jokes today? What superpower do you wish you had?”), which allows everyone to slow down and savor the meal, so the brain has time to signal, “You’re full” way before you overeat.

Make life a playground: Finding an activity is critical to losing weight. Turn off the TV, and get the whole family outside for a game of touch football or a walk around the block.

Creative Commons License photo credit: Tom Hagerty for Lakeland Local