Recent research has uncovered interesting and startling information regarding child obesity. Children today are eating way too much and their physical activity has gone way down. We can blame technology on this startling turn of events. Most children only get any type of physical activity at school. When they reach home, it is off to the television, the playstation, the computer, or the most recent PS2. All of this technology has made children live sedentary lives at such early ages.
While children are engaging in their favorite activity of watching television or playing their favorite computer games, they are indulging in snack foods. The worst snack foods for children are the snack food of choice – potato chips, candy, cookies, cakes, etc. If children were eating more healthily, child obesity statistics would change for the better.
In order for children to overcome obesity, the whole family must take a part. The family must change the lifestyle to one more conducive to health and fitness. The entire family has to be willing to adapt to a better way of eating while focusing on the obese child. A few things a family can do to begin the cycle of overcoming obesity are:
1. Change food preparation methods.
2. Avoid purchasing snack foods, replace with fruits and vegetables.
3. Set meal times at the same time daily for the entire family.
4. Make sure children do not skip any meals.
5. Schedule family exercise time.
These changes should be made gradually and with precision. Remember the child obesity did not come about all at once, so the changes should not occur all at once. Making too many changes all at one time will make the obese child rebel against the change. The parents must take control over the obese child and take slow drastic measures to correct the problem.
Measurable changes make it easy to keep track of the child’s progress. Reward the child at set benchmarks. This will make the child want to strive to get to the next benchmark to see what type of reward he/she will get. Some rewards for the child reaching a set benchmark are:
1. A family outing to bowling, a movie, skating or bicycling.
2. Allow the child to watch his favorite television program a little later than usual.
3. Allow the child to have a small party with a few of his friends to celebrate his/her success at reaching a benchmark.
Any of these rewards will make the child raise his self-esteem and feel much better about the changes made to his/her lifestyle.
Statistics show that between five and twenty-five percent of the children and teenagers in this country today are obese. Families must develop a healthy-weight regimen for the entire family putting most of the focus on the obese child. The child cannot overcome his/her situation of obesity without the help of the family.
The environment in the home must be health conscious. Family physical activities must be incorporated into the home environment. Children emulate what they see. If the obese child sees the family eating healthy and taking an active part in physical activities, he/she will most likely take an active part in what he/she sees his/her family doing. Change is hard in any situation but success for the obese child would be attainable if the family is consistent with the plan.