Childhood obesity continues to rise, and so do the negative results that come with it. Type 2 diabetes, asthma, high blood pressure, and early social discrimination are just a few of the issues faced by an obese child. This article will help you in maintaining a healthy weight for your child, and eliminate the unfavourable consequences of childhood obesity.
1.  Know the health risks that can come with childhood obesity:

2.  Understand that there are psychological risks as well

Children who are obese suffer social discrimination. The stress caused by this can lead to low self-esteem. This in turn can slow down intellectual and social performance. These debilities may carry over into adulthood.
3.  Help your child maintain a healthy weight

The following steps will help you bring about the changes your child needs to defeat obesity.
Develop healthy eating habits

  • Minimise the eating of sugar and trans-fats.

  • Make available a generous supply of vegetables, fruits, and whole-grain products.

  • Advocate drinking more water.

  • Serve moderately-sized meal portions – except for vegetables.

  • When possible, use low-fat or non-fat milk.

  • Select good quality meats, poultry, fish, and beans for protein.

  • Do not keep snacks such as power drinks, carbonated and sugar-sweetened drinks and energy bars in your home. Replace with fresh fruit.

  • Minimise the consumption of processed foods containing chemical food additives.

Increase your child’s physical activity
It is recommended that children and teens get an hour of moderate intensity physical activity daily. A few examples include:

  • A brisk walk

  • Jump rope

  • Swimming

  • Playing soccer

  • Dancing

  • A game of tag

Limit the time your child spends watching TV, playing video games, or surfing the Web. Enforce a maximum of two hours of sedentary time.
4.  Overeating is not the only cause of childhood obesity. Genetic, behavioural, and environmental factors play a part as well

  • Genetic: Studies have shown that genetics can occasionally play a part in childhood obesity, combined with behavioral and environmental factors.

  • Behavioural: Certain behaviours can be responsible for contributing to obesity in children. Children who consume large amounts of sugar-sweetened foods and drinks may not always participate in physical activities. Frequent snacking also causes a child to eat less during regular mealtimes.

  • Environmental: Children mimic their role models. Parents who do not set a good example for their children may contribute to their obesity. Schools are also notorius for supplying sweetened soft drinks, junk- and fast-food in their tuckshops. Give your child fresh, seasonal and preferably organic food to eat and take to school. Try to avoid food thatâ??s been made in a factory. In some areas children find it difficult to exercise, since they do not have easy access to parks, bike paths or playgrounds. All these environmental factors increase a child’s risk for obesity.

If you want to determine whether your child is obese, use a BMI-Body Mass Indicator, and if your child is obese, consult a professional health provider.


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