Have you noticed that there seems to be more kids who are obese these days?
It is heartbreakingly true.Especially in the United States as studies have shown the kids in the US are more likely to be obese than kids in other countries.
There are some important questions that need to be addressed if we are to reverse this trend and save our kids from a lifetime of emotion, mental and physical misery.
Here, we will address the causes, the dangers and how to help kids combat obesity while also helping them to become healthier in every way.
What Causes Obesity in Kids?
For some kids, genetics plays a role in obesity. Kids in families with strong tendencies toward obesity will often be obese themselves. Even though it may run in families, obesity can still be combated successfully.
Some factors that are genetic and linked to obesity are diseases such as thyroid disease. Hypothyroidism often runs in families and obesity can result. Any disease or condition that slows down the metabolism can lead to obesity.
There are environmental causes for childhood obesity, too.
- Many schools, under the pressure to cut budgets, have reduced or eliminated physical education classes.
- Many schools only have P.E classes once or twice a week rather than daily due to several schools sharing one instructor.
- Another environmental cause is the barrage of ads for fat and sugar laden fast foods, sodas, ice cream and candy. It doesn’t end there, either. There are ads for cereals loaded with sugar that kids are being told are a healthy way to start the day.Â With so much advertising on TV all the time, of course children want these foods.
The advertising of unhealthy fat and sugar loaded food play right into the next two causes of diet, nutrition and lack of physical activity.
With so many families needing two incomes these days, preparing a healthy meal everyday seems impossible. Processed frozen foods that take little time have replaced fresh vegetable, fruits and lean meat for meals.
Eating out, even at fast food restaurants, used to be just an occasional treat. Now, grabbing some fast food on the way home is something that happens a couple of times a week in many families.
For various reasons, kids are not spending as much time playing outdoors as previous generations did. Kids are more likely to spend most of their free time watching TV, playing video or computer games.
The Danger to Obese Kids
Kids who are obese get teased by other children and even some adults.
Though this may seem like not too big a deal to someone else, the kid getting teased suffers a great deal. An obese child has low self-esteem and is likely to suffer from depression.
They’re other dangers from childhood obesity, too. Kids who are obese have a greater risk of developing Type II Diabetes, have sleep disorders directly related to being obese, bone and joint problems and higher risk of high blood pressure.
Many people don’t think of high blood pressure as a problem that kids can have but the truth is, they can and obese kids are the most likely to have it. This is not just unhealthy, it is life threatening.
It also helps to balance the body chemistry so kids are more energetic and mentally sharp. The immune system gets a boost from exercise, which is something many people don’t realize. Kids need plenty of good exercise to grow properly and be healthy and happy.
How should parents encourage exercise?
The bottom line is: kids learn by example. If the parents are sedentary, the kids will be, too. The best way to get your kids to exercise is to exercise yourself and get your kids to join you.
Make it fun
If it is fun, it is easier for everyone to stick with it. Instead of letting the kids play videos games, go for a walk with them, maybe at the zoo or a park. Instead of watching football on TV, play tag football with the whole family. Go swimming or bike riding together.
Exercise does not having to be boring, it can be fun and a great bonding time for the family. You will find your whole family is happier and healthier. Just find the time and work out an exercise program specially for your child.
Category: Kids Exercising