Day: July 3, 2018

It’s Up to Parents to Curb Childhood Obesity

Parents of overweight children are well aware of how frustrating the problem can be.  They quickly realize that no matter what they do at home to help their children lose weight, those efforts can quickly be thwarted as soon as your child leaves the house and is exposed to the various external pressures that are beyond their control.

As soon as children begin attending school, they enter that system and daily routine that takes up many years of their lives.  Things are not the same at schools as they were when these children’s parents were in school.  There is far less time spend on physical education and recess time has shrunk as more and more requirements have been added to academic curriculum.  When I was growing up, physical education classes (P.E) took place at three times a week and lasted for an hour to two hours.  Additionally, we had a couple of 30 minute recesses every day.  Today, P.E. is a once or twice a week activity, and frequently only lasts 20-30 minutes.

Combine this lack of physical activity with a poor diet, which is common at most school cafeterias, and the fact that childhood obesity numbers continue to grow should come as no surprise.  Most cafeteria food has minimal nutritional value and is high in bad, refined carbohydrates.  The healty foods that are available (salads, for example) are not the kind of things that many kids opt for, and even though some meals include fruits and veggies, it often isn’t “cool” to eat them.

As easy as it may be to point the finger at schools, the truth is that they have been limited by decreasing budgets and stricter academic requirements.  The bottom line is that it is up to the parents of these children to fight the problem – either on their own or with the help of something like a weight loss camp.

At a weight loss camp for kids, children learn how to choose healthy foods for their diet.  They learn fun ways to exercise and get active.  They also learn about the potential negative health consequences associated with being overweight – things like heart disease, diabetes, and so on.

While weight loss camps can be perfect in many cases, it is also important that parents do what they can at home.  Parents need to ensure that the food they serve their children is healthy and that they provide opportunities for their children to exercise.  Encouragement is also important, as kids that have developed bad habits over the course of many years will be unlikely to make an instantaneous switch.

While parents can’t control everything that goes on away from home in their child’s life, they can control some things.  Taking the steps to educate themselves about healthy living habits for youth and considering weight loss camps are great ways to get started.  I doubt many of us work for employers who serve us square meals every day and provide planned physical activities for us, so it is imperative that parents establish healthy living habits in their children today.