Child Obesity

by Stacia Shamp

Many kids are spending less time exercising and more time in front of the television, computer, or playing video games. Today our families are so busy and have less free time to prepare nutritious home cooked meals and this leads to many people struggling with obesity.

Childhood obesity is a condition where extra body fat affects a child's health in a very negative way. Obesity has become more prevalent among children and has almost doubled between 1980 and 2000. The risks for obese children is just as real as for adults. Children who are obese face the same medical risks as adults, of Type 2 diabetes, heart disease, sleep apnea, hypertension, psychological problems, even stress at joints, etc. They face many problems from their peers because of the way we, Americans, view obese people.

Children whose parents are obese have about an eighty percent chance of being obese as they get older. Parents have a huge impact on their children, and if they aren’t taking the time to take care of themselves, and to model good eating and exercise habits, they will indeed create the same conditions for obesity in their children. Therefore, it is important for parents to change their bad eating habits, and to pass healthy food choices, and proper eating habits down to their children. Portion control, eating more fruits and vegetables as snacks, etc., all need to be part of what they pass on to their children. They need to change the environment that can lead to obesity, to help reduce horrible health risks for themselves and their children. There are many ways to help prevent child obesity, but it first starts with the parent. The parent has to be willing to make nutritious foods, include the whole family, and encourage their child to be more active.

For more information on child obesity:
http://www.aap.org/
http://www.cdc.gov/nccdphp/dnpa/obesity/childhood/defining.htm

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