Many children face the problem of being overweight. In a recent poll, it was found that 1 in every 3 children between the ages of 5 and 11 was overweight or obese. Having excess weight escalates the chances of children suffering from health problems later in their lives. As a parent, it becomes extremely difficult to manage your child‘s weight. But one must not lose hope. Parents should play an active role in their child’s life to help them towards a healthier future.
What Is Child Obesity?
Child obesity is a medical term used for children and teenagers who have excess weight issues. The condition becomes unhealthy once the weight of the child increases beyond the average weight limit for their age. The body undergoes many changes as it stores large amounts of fat that results in the medical condition known as obesity.
How Can I Tell If My Child Is Overweight?
Children go through many phases in their physical development, making their weight fluctuate up and down on a regular basis. Diagnosing if your child is overweight is not an easy task as the tendency of body fat alters with age and differs between girls and boys. A simple way to tell is to calculate their BMI. The BMI is an effective tool that has been used by doctors and nutritionist over the years to deduce whether somebody is the weight they should be according to their height and age.
How to Control It?
Obesity in children has become very common these days which can make your child think that it’s okay to be overweight because so many other people are. The first thing to do is recognize the problem and accept that you need to make certain life changes – this can be achieved after an intervention or simply a heart to heart with a parent.
There is no magical cure that can cure people of this condition over night but there is a way to manage the effects of obesity and reduce them, altering your weight through many different techniques. Let’s see what they are:
Parents as Role Models: Children always look up to their parents as their role models. Thus, it is important not to only give advice but, follow the same advice and act as role models to set out a healthy lifestyle for your kids.
Home Sweet Home: Eating out should be left for special occasions. It is always a better option to make your meals at home and avoid eating out. This makes it easier to manage your food as you know exactly what is going into cooking it. As parents, you should try to cook up some new recipes that are not only tasty but healthy. It is good to include baked, boiled or steamed items in their diets.
Easy on the Fast Food: Keep your child away from Fast food joints. Items that include a major amount of sugar such as cakes and ice creams should also be avoided.
Smaller Portions: Small is good. Avoid serving large portions to your kids. When they say the words, “I’m still hungry” ask them to have a glass of water and wait a few minutes to decide whether they want more. It is scientific fact that it takes the brain twenty minutes to realize that the stomach is full. So eat slowly.
Exercise: Start moving! Exercise every day by picking up a sport which can involve the entire family or a regular activity like cycling that helps your kid on his way to his goals.
Limited TV Time: Keep an eye on the amount of time your child is spending watching the television. Statistics reveal that watching television for several hours makes the child lazy and increases the chances of obesity.
For serious concerns regarding child obesity, consulting a pediatrician is the best option. Remember obesity in children is manageable. The key is to be patient and supportive.