The Easiest Ways to Prevent Childhood Obesity
The rate of childhood obesity has more than doubled in the past 30 years. Learn the simple steps that can help prevent it. The most recent National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey, conducted by the Centers for Disease Control, found that nearly 20 percent of children were obese. Read that again. Not just overweight, but obese. This means that for children their age and height, they rank in the top 95th percentile or above. A staggering statistic when compared to results of previous generations.
Dangers of childhood obesity
Many may counter that this weight is just baby fat, or that their children are just big boned. Don’t buy into it. Obesity at a young age is a problem and can be an indicator of problems to come. Excess weight can place a child at risk numerous problems covering aspects from psychosocial to hepatic function.
The most notable problems are in the cardiovascular system. CDC studies showed that an incredible 70 percent of obese children had at least one risk factor for cardiovascular disease. These risk factors include, but are not limited too hypertension, tachycardia, and hyperlipidemia, or increased cholesterol levels. Having trouble picture children with problems like these? Unfortunately, it is a reality.
Having excess weight has also been associated with an increase in rates of asthma. Children who are overweight have also been prone to developing a fatty liver, caused by an excess concentration of liver enzymes. In some cases, obesity in childhood has been associated with sleep apnea. episodes when breathing stops for several seconds or longer during sleep.
In addition to breathing troubles, liver issues, and cardiovascular risks, childhood obesity has been linked to an increase in Type 2 Diabetes. No longer is this type of diabetes found in just adults, with surging numbers of children being diagnosed every year. Type 2 Diabetes can place someone at risk for severe side effects, those risks can increase when the disease has an early onset, as is seen with childhood-onset for those that suffer from obesity. Having Type 2 Diabetes even longer can increase the risk of complications such as blindness, heart disease, kidney failure, and even peripheral neuropathy which is one of the leading precursors to lower limb amputations in the United States.
Preventing childhood obesity
The most important step in preventing childhood obesity is teaching proper eating habits. Remember, 80 percent of children that are obese before the age of 8, will remain obese as an adult. Teach good eating habits now for a lifetime of healthy eating.
Ensure that you are an active part of planning your child’s meals. Children that are allowed to graze and eat what they want, are already on a road towards disaster. Spend time together as a family eating your meals. Use smaller portion sizes. Many of us feel a need to fill a plate with food, if you are one of these people get smaller plates for your child’s meal such as the one from Constructive Eating which also takes the distraction of eating healthy foods and turns it on to a playful way of eating healthy foods. Just as important as serving sizes is what you are serving. Be sure to consult the food pyramid to select a proper diet consisting of plenty of lean proteins, vegetables, whole grains, and fruit choices.
Soda has become a mainstay in the American diet, yet it serves no nutritional function for us whatsoever. We have no true need for the refined sugars, and regardless of what your headache tells you before your first cup of coffee, we have no need for the caffeine. Teach kids now that soda is something that should be drunk infrequently, if at all. Instead, encourage regular water consumption. Milk is also a great choice, containing protein in every serving. Fruit juice can be a good choice, but you must be sure it is 100 percent juice, not filled with high fructose corn syrup or other sugars.
Healthy snacking is also a crucial factor in the fight against childhood obesity. Prepackaged snacks and candies may be delicious but act as nicely packaged saboteurs in our fight against obesity. Encourage fruit and vegetable intake. If they eat a sandwich try to make sure it is on a whole grain bread rather than the refined sugars of white bread. Celery and peanut butter? A healthy food choice. Little Debbie Snack Cakes? Not so much.
Lastly, plan time for physical activity for your child. Encourage children to spend time outside, playing sports, games, riding bikes, anything to get them moving for at least 60 minutes daily. In addition, try to limit time spent on sedentary activities such as watching television or playing video games.
We love Goliath Games outdoor line. Not only is it a great way to keep our children active but we are active WITH them so it creates great family time as well.
Phlat Ball V3
Phlat Ball V3 is a genius invention – snap your wrist and spin it like a flying disc and raise both hands to catch it like a ball. Phlat Ball easily fits into a backpack as it flattens to form a 9″ flying disc. Open it up into a ball or spin it like a frisbee and watch it re-form into a ball as the suction releases. Phlat Ball V3 comes in five different color combinations.
Rocket Fishing Rod
Replace your child’s standard fishing rod with the easy-to-use Rocket Fishing Rod. With extreme accuracy, the Rocket Fishing Rod launches up to 25 feet – pump, pull the release button, and reel it in once a fish is on the line. With safety and ease-of-use design, the bobber does not release the bait until it hits the water which eliminates a snagged line.
Rocket Fishing Rod Bait Bucket
Don’t be caught fishing without a bucket! The Rocket Fishing Rod Bait Bucket is a perfect size for kids with the ability to stand up to some serious fishing. Grab your Rocket Fishing Rod and Bait Bucket for a care-free and enjoyable day of fishing!
Grab a partner and enjoy hours at the park playing Zoom Ball. Each player grabs an end, and in less than a second, the ball moves from one player to another. Each player has a set of handles that when pulled send the ball zipping to their partner. Get outdoors and build some arm muscle with Zoom Ball!
Zoom Ball Hydro
Enjoy this fast-paced game with a friend as you wait to see who will get wet first! Load four water balloons into the ball-shaped chamber and pull the straps to get the ball moving. Zip the ball to your opponent to see if you can get the balloons to burst on them before the water hits you. Enjoy hours of play as you beat the clock to see who will be soaked with the most water with the Zoom Ball Hydro!
Crush It Bat
It’s a grand slam with the Crush It Bat! The Crush It Bat is specially engineered to allow for play in any space. The innovative technology allows for the batter to release the high tension strings for a smaller space and tighten the strings to hit it out of the park when playing on a ball field. The Crush It Bat is excellent for children of all ages – the design offers a contoured grip handle that is lightweight making it easy to control.
Childhood obesity risk
Remember, obesity isn’t something that happens overnight, nor is it something that can be fixed that quickly either. Talk with your healthcare provider if you feel your child may be at risk for obesity. Many of these steps may seem small, but it is typically not advised to implement a calorie restriction diet for children unless prescribed by a physician. More importantly, these small steps can lead to a lifetime of good decisions.