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Childhood obesity is a medical condition affecting young children and adolescents, whereby the person’s weight does not conform to what is deemed normal at his/her age. According to research by Hirsch, one in every five children in the United States is obese.
This population, however, grows day by day, backed by the fact that the condition is hereditary. Other causes include lack of enough exercise and a poor eating pattern.
Medical conditions affecting the overweight are not common in children, though they face a higher risk of developing obesity through to their adulthood.
When fully developed, obesity presents a vast number of threats to the individual, which is why medical practitioners regard it as a ticking time bomb.
With the change in lifestyle brought about by new age technological advances, children no longer go to the park to play. This, valued so much by previous generations, was consequently replaced by video games and online gaming.
Children nowadays shift from one screen to another as the order of the day.
This has been made worse by the fact that parents now resort to fast foods for their daily meals, averting home cooking which is now regarded as inconvenient. If a change is to take place to review this pattern, it ought to start with the parents.
Controlling Childhood Obesity
Childhood obesity can be easily contained through certain step by step remedies. “The first step is reducing time children spend on television, video, and online gaming to roughly two hours a day” (Mayo Clinic Services).
Children impulsively opt for other activities when the screens have been declared off limits. To efficiently utilize this time that has now become available, parents should move to the second step which is involving the children in activities that keep them moving.
All children develop an interest in certain fields. If for example, the child is a comic book enthusiast, walk him/her to the neighborhood comic book store or library, and back. This will ensure that the body burns off excess calories stored while increasing blood circulation.
To ensure that this does not become a boring affair, parents should let the children pick their preferred tasks and maybe spice it up when need be. Variety would also be better when the children alternate in the choosing of events.
Children are known to imitate almost everything their parents do, when, where and how they do it. This means doing it together to present a good example. Parents wouldn’t be helping much if they asked their children to play, and replaced them immediately they leave.
After an activity-filled fun day, the whole family should congregate at the dinner table for supper. Dieticians recommend inclusion of fruit and vegetable meals with lower calorie counts. Fast-foods ought to be avoided as much as possible.
During this time, the television set should be turned off. “The researchers found children who…eat fewer family meals are more likely to be overweight once they reach first grade” (Decision News Media).
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While watching television, one does not take note of the quantity of food he/she eats. This amount is mostly on the higher side.
Charity begins at home. Many a time, the local pediatrician is not needed to keep children fit and healthy. All that has to be done is to provide the body with a little bit of everything it requires, for it’s the little things we do that add up in the end.
Decision News Media. TV’s influence on eating habits re-examined. Web.
Hirsch, D. Obesity in Children. Web.
Mayo Clinic Services. Childhood obesity. Web.