Child obesity is such a epidemic at this point in time that child obesity prevention is sorely needed. The key to overcoming child obesity is to first understand how a child can become obese and how society contributes to this sad state of affairs.
Child Obesity Prevention Through Understanding Why
Child obesity happens when a child is taking in more calories then what their bodies are burning off. This happens in any case, but just how does this happen in children? Why is child obesity such a problem now?
There is a combination of reasons. First, this happens when a child is allowed to sit in front of the tv, the computer, or to be at a place of rest. In the past, children were very rarely obese because they didn't have the technology and gadgets that they do now.
Even 20 years ago, child obesity prevention was easy. All the parents had to do was to send their children outside to play. They rode bikes, played sports and did a variety of childhood activities that all led to keeping the weight off. Even if the children ate junk food, they would participate in outdoor activities and then very easily burn off the extra calories. In this way, there was no way that a child could become obese unless they had a major health issue.
The internet, along with personal computers in every household brought about many worthwhile changes that are now standard in our world. However, the internet also played a part in keeping children sedentary. For example, children no longer had to leave the house to go to the library for research. All they had to do was turn on a computer, and the information was right there for them in their chairs.
Computers also brought about computer games. These games are great for the imagination, but they cut out the need for children to go outside and play. Outdoor play is a key component of child obesity prevention. In cutting out outdoor play, a major part of child obesity prevention was lost.
To add to this, many children are allowed to eat whatever they want. They also come into more contact with money than ever before. We have generations of kids who can buy bags of chips, candies and other treats. There used to be a time in which getting a bag of chips or sweets from the grocery store was a treat that was dispensed by careful parents. Now, the children have free reign over their stomachs.
If they aren't outright buying their own junk, then the parents freely buy it. This is in part because today's parents want to be cool and they don't want to say no to their kids. Besides, they are often times eating the same things. None of this works for child obesity prevention.
To add to this, school lunch programs often times serve what the kids like to eat and not necessarily what is nutritious. This is because they want the kids to think that the lunch room is cool. But does this help prevent child obesity prevention? Are the schools more interested in keeping the kids happy, or will they take a stand to keep the kids healthy?
Being healthy doesn't have to be boring. It also doesn't mean that all tasty choices have to be eliminated. It does mean that there will have to be integrated approaches and choices made for child obesity prevention.
For example, parents will have to make an effort to make sure that their kids take part in after school sports and activities. They will have to make sure that time in front of the computer or the tv is cut short. They will certainly have to monitor their kid's eating habits.
The schools can integrate more physical education classes. Many schools have cut these programs, but there is a push to bring these programs back for child obesity prevention.
With care and with work, child obesity can be stopped.
It can clearly be seen that many of the young population in the United States are obese children. What happens now is that since they have become normal, it is no surprise to see many of them.
But the issue of overweight kids and obese children is currently being addressed. Many groups have come out to provide help for overweight kids through support groups and legislation, but the main role players in this fight are the parents of these overweight kids.
The Family's Role in Providing Help for Overweight Kids
Many children acquire bad habits right from their own homes. One way to see is how much time a child spends in front of the television or playing games on the computer.
One way to change this is to have rules that encourage children play outdoors. Having children participate in outdoor activities would be one way parents can provide help for overweight kids.
Teaching by example is the way to inculcate in children the right habits. Eating healthy meals prepared from fresh nutritious ingredients would be a start. Removing junk food altogether may not be the right way but by controlling their intake, the child can eat better meals.
Taking time out to exercise together as a family and having healthy meals together would be great for all. Also, limiting TV time to a certain number of hours would be help for overweight kids; they can learn to become active and spend time outside engaging in activities with friends.
Being there for the children also helps in their development. Providing a listening ear, being pro active in accepting and loving the child regardless of their physical appearance also helps boost the child.
By providing this avenue, it would be much easier for children to open up concerns about their weight. They themselves know they are overweight and need assistance. As a parent to obese children, you must continue showering them with love and importance regardless of their weight.
Social Roles in Helping Obese Children
Advice from professionals is a great resource for programming weight loss, healthy diets and proper exercise. One way of providing help for overweight kids is to enroll them in overweight kid camps to promote confidence and a better lifestyle.
Participating in nutrition campaigns and campaign against the sale of soda and junk food in school would also help overweight kids. Sending letters seeking support for physical education program improvement would also help build programs for obese children.
Making active contributions for the improvement of parks and recreation facilities would also help healthy children find venues for their activities.
Helping overweight kids is not a purely parental problem. Working hand in hand with other members of society would provide a better and more coordinated effort in helping obese children become healthy. This is a societal problem that needs to be addressed by the community as a whole.