Have you noticed recently your child gaining weight at an alarming rate? If you don't take action quickly, your child may be on his way to becoming obese. Every aspect of your child's life will become affected if obese. These include psychological well being and the capacity to participate as a member of the community. Additionally, obese children are frequently the target of ridicule in school and in the society as a whole. Moreover, their overall health is greatly at risk if the weight problem is not addressed as early as possible.
Child obesity has become a global problem, especially in developed countries such as the United States and the United Kingdom. In fact, according to statistics almost one out of three children in these countries is either overweight or obese. But how would you determine if a child is obese? The Body Mass Index (BMI) is a measurement of body fat based on height and weight which takes into account the child's age and gender as well. An individual with a BMI of 30 or more is considered to be obese. Overweight individuals have BMIs in the 25 through 29.9 ranges. Normal weight has a BMI between 18.5 and 24.9. An individual with a BMI below 18.5 is considered to be underweight.
So if you have a child who is on his or her way to obesity, what can you do as a parent to prevent it from happening? The following strategies will help you and your child prevent obesity.
Strategy 1: Stop including Soft Drinks in Your Child's Diet
Carbonated soft drinks or sodas are one of the biggest contributors to childhood obesity. Kids can easily avail of soft drinks in fast foods and even in their own school. In order to prevent childhood obesity, eliminate sodas from your kid's diet. Not only are these drinks fattening but they have absolutely zero nutritional value. Physicians and nutritionists have always been very vocal about the negative effects of soft drinks. Abolishing them from the diet is a good way to combat childhood obesity. But of course, doing this is not an easy task especially if your kid is constantly exposed to these drinks. It is easier if your child is still at the age where he or she does not make the decision in what is consumed. All you have to do is to stop serving sodas and replace them with healthier drinks.
Strategy 2: Limit Consumption of Fast Food
It would be best to completely eliminate foods such as burgers, fries, fried chicken, ice cream, and other high calorie foods once you notice that your child is already showing signs of obesity. This may be difficult though if fast food has been a part of your child's life. Some experts suggest that consuming fast food once a week is still acceptable. You should explain to your child how fast foods contribute to obesity.
Strategy 3: Limit Your Child's TV Viewing Time
It is pretty unrealistic to totally eliminate television viewing time of your child. But it is very important that you limit sedentary activities including TV viewing and other forms of technology such as Internet, DVD, and video games. Studies have shown that kids spending too much time in front of the television weigh more than those who aren't.
Strategy 4: Get Your Kids to Exercise
The lack of activity in children is another contributor of childhood obesity. This is usually attributed to the advent of technology which has altered the way kids live their daily lives. You can get your kids to participate in sports. If not, try to encourage him or her to walk to school, join community activities or any other activity which involve physical effort.