Although obesity can be prevented, there seems to be a rise in the number of overweight individuals in the world, including children and teenagers. Obesity is defined as the excessive fat accumulation that can impair health or cause several health problems.
Here are the things you need to keep in mind to help stop your child from becoming obese.
Know Your Child’s Ideal Weight
For a growing child, the ideal weight trajectory should be based on the height and weight change proportional to the overall development. A child will be classified as overweight if the weight is above the recommended average for his/her age and height. If the weight is not monitored properly, the child could become obese as an adult and will have a much more difficult time changing bad eating habits later.
Know the Risks for Obesity
Some children are more likely to become overweight than others because of several factors; such as unchecked bad eating habits, genes, lack of physical activity, and consumption of food and drinks high in sodium, sugar, and fat. Parents who encourage unhealthy lifestyle and those parents who are unhealthy themselves, create an obesogenic environment for a child that can be difficult to change. According to various research, majority of the children who were obese were still obese as teenagers and even as adults.
Know the Cause of Weight Gain
Weight gain is the result of more energy taken from food and beverages than the body can burn off through physical activity. A deadly combination usually involves easy access to food high in fat and calories and an environment that discourages or lacks opportunity for physical activities. Only a small percentage of obese children have problems with hereditary diseases that contribute to obesity, so majority of the cases are caused by unhealthy lifestyle.
Know the Results of Obesity
While chubby kids might look cute, there is a risk of developing serious health problems that can plague the child until he/she becomes an adult, such as diabetes, heart problems, asthma, and depression. That is why it’s important to address lifestyle problems as early as possible, beginning with the adults who look after the child.
Know How to Fight Obesity
Children don’t need to go through a strict diet to reduce weight, unlike obese adults. The goal of childhood obesity treatment is to slow weight gain until the child grows into his/her ideal weight. You are not supposed to cut off a child’s supply of fat and carbohydrates, because these are needed for growth and development. However, you have to avoid trans fats and choose saturated fats properly. The same is true for sugar, so instead of a no-sugar diet, limit the child’s sugar options by preparing healthy meals and small snacks. The treatment, however, involves the entire family by exposing the child to healthy food, encouraging physical activities and socialization, and to limit their idle time watching the television or the use of the computer.