Childhood obesity has increased rapidly over the past years and has finally gained national recognition. Many more children between the ages of two and five are already on their way to becoming the next generation of obese teens and eventually obese adults and seniors. With obesity being one of the leading causes of morbidity, disability, discrimination, and employment problems, it has become one of the biggest public problems since tobacco use and exposure. Bad eating habits are not the only culprit, genetic diseases that can predispose children to become overweight cannot be forgotten.
Diseases such as Bardet-Biedl syndrome and Prader-Willi syndrome are common in obese children, however still playing a larger role in the general overall population is bad eating and exercise habits. It is the hope of many health educators and medical professionals from psychologists to medical doctors that increased public awareness and preventive policies will eventually improve the situation. Professionals are treating this as a major public health concern that is threatening to damage our precious children. Being more active and healthy food choices, are on the top of the list for discussion and plans of battling this epidemic.
Having caretakers take pro active measures to keep the child on the right track and setting good examples are key elements to helping these children to learn a healthier behavior and attitude towards their own health. The annual National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey conducted by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has come to the conclusion that as many as one third of U.S. children are overweight or at high risk for childhood obesity. The health problems that will begin to manifest themselves from the heavy weight of such young children will start kids down a road the problems such as high blood pressure, high cholesterol, and increased risks of diabetes. These are diseases usually reserved to adults, not children.
Combating this troubling condition must however, begin at home with the caregivers for these children. Improving overall diet and exercise is the key to resolving the problem. Protecting children’s health now and in the future will depend greatly on education of parents and caregivers to implement healthy daily living strategies. Preventing an at-risk child from becoming overweight can start a process of healthy and active lifestyles to ensure longevity and energy throughout the child”s life. Little things such as: not getting into power struggles with the child over food, never use food as a behavior modification tool, and setting a good example are some starting places. This only perpetuates the same behavior and may cause psychological behaviors that are unwanted. Critical commenting, and taunting rarely if ever handles the situation with a positive outcome. Emphasizing what’s positive and benefits of changing behavior can make all of the difference in the world.
Just fostering the child’s natural inclination to please you, have fun, and explore are perfect opportunities to introduce fitness routines, and reduce such incidents like eating out of boredom. If these things are done with every child in danger of becoming obese, then the numbers suffering will likely decrease. Therefore, you should always keep in mind the health of yourself and your children. By keeping in shape yourself and displaying a good diet, you can impress upon them the importance of being a health-oriented individual. These habits will stay with them for all of their lives. You will also have quite a few benefits from eating healthy and slimming down. If you shed your extra weight, you will feel much better about yourself. If you want to find out more information about how you should change your diet habits, you should go to your local library for a book about diet and health. You can also talk to your doctor if you want some recommendations that are specific for your current health.
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