The number of children suffering from obesity continues to grow. While many parents think that kids who are above their natural weight is a sign of good health, medical professionals think otherwise. Obesity in kids is simply not healthy and is a sign of poor nutrition. One common misconception is that children who are malnourished are those who are sickly or severely underweight. But not having the right nutrition is not only having a deficiency of nutrients or vitamins but in this case storing too much amounts of fat.
There is no shortage of diet books or exercise programs for helping people lose weight. But these have been developed for adults not for children. A child’s body may not react the same way as an adult when given the same exercises or diet. As a general rule, it is best to stay with what’s been shown to work in scientific studies.
There are steps or guidelines developed by experts from the CDC, the Health Resources and Service Administration, and the American Medical Association and it is reviewed by 15 other professional organizations. You can start by choosing one or two steps and work your way into a healthier lifestyle.
Aim to maintain your child’s weight rather than lose weight for younger kids who still have a lot of growing to do.
This allows your young overweight child to grow into his weight. Cutting down calories in your children’s diet is not a good idea unless it is advised by your doctor.
Embrace a Healthier lifestyle for your family
Be a cheerleader for your family and keep it fun, enjoyable and positive. Then make your partner or another child a co-cheerleader to help keep up your family’s motivation. The more, the merrier.
Eat at the table.
It’s really tempting to eat in front of the TV or have a own schedule for family members, it is much better to eat together at the table at least 5 or 6 times a week. Kids who ate most of their meals with their family on the table were less likely to be overweight according to a study.
Focus on vegetables and fruits.
You should track how many servings of fruits and veggies your overweight child eats. The ultimate goal here is to convince your child to eat five or more servings of fruits and vegetables a day. Making it more visible to your kid is an easy way of encouragement. Apple and oranges in a bowl is good on your table. Or you can also add up washed, cut, bite-sized veggies with a healthy dip on a plate covered with clear plastic wrap in the fridge.
Remove sugared beverages such as soda, sports drinks, and fruit punch.
Have each member of the family start every meal with a glass of water to help your family make this transition. It will really take time to get out of the habit of having sugary drinks every day but you’ll be able to make it. If they were used to drink sugary drink four times a day, try to switch to three a day for a week. Then cut down, and so on.
Being overweight or obese as a child may also lead to psychological disorders in some children. A child counselor or specialist helps to increase confidence and self-esteem. It will also develop coping strategies when they find themselves being teased or bullied.
If you want to help your overweight child, you can start with small changes to your family’s diet and lifestyle to make it healthier for the whole family. You have to remember that if a child is obese or overweight, they will have a higher risk for developing various health problems especially during their adult life. They will most likely be overweight or obese as an adult. If you will treat obesity during childhood, some of these problems may be prevented.