Monday, November 17, 2014

child obesity

In an Huffington Post article earlier this year, it was reported that childhood obesity has increased over the last 14 years in the U.S. to 17.3%.  The study covered children from ages 2 to 19.  

Some people believe that the current generation of kids have a shorter life expectancy than their parents.  All of this information may be true, but I am not sure how much people are paying attention to it and/or taking action to prevent it.

Advice to Parents

We really need for parents to look at your child and analyze their physical looks. If the child is overweight, it is their responsibility to do something about it.  Don't ignore it, be honest about the situation.  

Do not rely on the school or government to implement programs to teach your child about nutrition and health.   Do not "hope" his/her body will improve in the future.  It might, but do not assume this will occur or that the problem will be resolved on it's own.

Trust me on what I am about to say because I grew up fat (see pictures I attached to this post or watch my Youtube video).  Kids get picked on and treated differently when they look overweight and have a different body shape than their peers.  

If you as a parent simply turn your back to the problem, you are just negatively impacting the kid's childhood.

If you are looking for your local, state or federal governments to stop this problem, you are probably looking in the wrong direction.  They will do the bare minimum and/or offer some information to assist your or they might roll out a "National Eat Your Carrots Day" or something like that to get people off of their backs.  

However, they do NOT control what and how much is being fed to your child at home.

Any parents that think a birthday treat at school is going to cause their kid to be overweight or addicted to sugar is completely wrong.  What causes weight issues is when they consistently overeat on the junk food.  The issue does not occur at a school celebration, it usually develops at home. 

A small piece of candy a few times a week is fine...big candy bars every night and/or multiple bars per day is where it becomes the problem.


When all these major food companies create new products they are finding more ways to give our children more junk food options loaded with sugar.  Our kids are being fed sugar in all ways, so they can always be addicted to sugar and want more.

Your job as a parent is to limit the amount of times your kids are eating the crap that is easily available at all grocery stores and shown on TV all the time.


Here are some basic tips/reminders of ways you can help your kids improve their eating habits and possibly begin to become healthier:

  • Stop providing soda.  It is bad enough we have adults addicted to these drinks.  Now I am seeing kids as young as 2 years old drinking this stuff.  One of the worst drinks out there for anyone to have, don't let your kids drink it. 
  • Limit fast food.  Nothing wrong with going out to eat once in a while, just be sure it is not 5 days out of 7.  When you do go out to eat, make sure they do not overeat.
  • Teach them about nutrition.  They should know what a calorie, carbohydrate, protein and fat is.  If you don't know, educate yourself and then pass it on.
  • Stop supplying sugary drinks.  A lot of fruit juices out there are full of sugar and no matter what they claim on package, they are not "natural".  Avoid them to limit the amount of sugar your kids are consuming on a daily basis.  No child should rely on Gatorade.  Trust me, they are not sweating enough to "need" sports drinks.  Now, if they are not drinking the other sugary drinks and drinking a lot of water and "want" to have Gatorade once in a while during a sporting event...I would say that is "okay" but definitely not something that they need to get through a 90 minute tee-ball game. 
  •  Keep them active.  Have them sign up for one sport a season.  This will help keep them active throughout the year.  Unless they are a person who is outside all the time, kids need to be physically active a few times a week.
  • Have the family become active.  If the kid is not in a sport and does not have too many kids around them to play with, then it is your responsibility to take them for walks, hikes, or bike rides. 
If your child is overweight, you as a parent, leader and an adult need to come up with solutions to address the situation. 

Yes, it will be hard to eliminate soda from their diet.  Yes, it may be difficult to say no when they want a second serving of ice cream.  However, no matter what resistance you face, it is your job to make this right and it will be well worth the effort.  

They might even thank you one day.

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