Family Obesity: 8 Ways to Stay Healthy by Jennifer Clack

The increase in the rate of obesity has become a major topic of concern. Especially childhood obesity. Many times the entire family can be overweight making it diffucult to get the families weight under control. We know the reasons why obesity has increased and the effects that obesity can have on our bodies. It is almost overwhelming at times. Along with the fact that obese people have to carry around alot of extra weight they also have low self esteem and self image. They can feel like that the everything they hear is negative. Many families might fela overwhemlmed and not kow where or how to begin to live healthy.



I wanted to focus on resources thant help people familes dealing with obesity issues. There are many things that can be done that do not cost lots of money, are easily accesible and can fit into a familes schedule.

Here are some ideas that a parent can incorporate into their lifestyle to begin to be healthy:

1. Education- Find the right information that you can understand the casues and effects of obesity. Find information on ways to deal with obesity that are realistic to you and your family.. Click on these links to find information on a healthy lifestyle.
Healthy Weight- CDC Website on a healthy lifestyle

2. Experiment- After researching different resources either on the web or at your library. Try different styles, recipes and activities that will fit into your families lifestyle and schedule. This can take some trial and error and can be constanly changing.

3. Support- This might be embarrising for some people but there are many other families that are in the same situation as your family. Finding someone who has the same issues and concerns as you can help you to not feel alone. This is a way to share ideas and get some ideas, too. Here are some support groups and advocacy groups: Obesity in America

5. Talk to a Professional- Either talk to you pediatrician or family doctor. Let them know your concerns and ask for additional resources. They can help point you in the right direction. They can possibly refer you to family therapy or a dietician if it seems needed.

6. Get the Family Involved.- Get your children, spouse and extended family involved.Have children help with recipes. Go to library as a family and find books about obesity research together online. Make it fun!
We Can! (Ways to Enhance Children Activity and Nutrition) Materials - Families Finding the Balance: A Parent Handbook

7. Healthy Diet- This means put good food in your body in the right amounts. It does not mean going on a diet. Find recipes that taste good but are healthy. Try to get the whole family involved. Have the children help with cooking. Contrary to belief, eating healthy is less expensive than eating fast foods or boxed meals. Here are some links to family friendly recipes that can get everyone involved.
Good Nutrition: A Family Affair, Disney Family Fun, Healthy Shopping Tips, 10 Tips for Healthy Grocery Shopping

8. Physical Activity- Physical activity does not have to be vigirous nor expensive. You do not need to spend hours at a gym sweating and breathing hard. Ther are many things that can be done as a family. Taking walks or. going to the park, as a family. Take the stairs instead of the elevator. I live in a four story apartment building and have noticed an obese family. They live on the second floor. There is only one (small) flight of stairs. They take the elevator. This would be a good opportunity to get some physical avtivity in your day.
Physical activity does not have to be all at one time either. it can be managed in smaller increments.
Physical Activity for Everyone is a website that offers tips on activity. Verb is a great website for kids and how to increase physical activities.

There are many opportunities to incorporate physical activity and a healthy diet into your lifestyle. It might take a while and seem overwhelming at first, but the best thing to do is to try.


Other useful links,
MyPyramid.gov Obesity Society Childhood obesity: Make weight loss a family affair

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