Simple and Easy Ways to Prevent Childhood Obesity

Current research shows that approximately 300 million people are obese and 5% of these people are children. Similar to adults, obesity causes several health risks and can decrease your child’s life expectancy. Obese children have a higher probability of developing heart disease, type 2 diabetes and severe emotional distress and trauma. Childhood obesity prevention is very important and can ultimately save your child’s life.

There are several factors that could cause your child to become obese. Many people assume that both adults and children that are overweight or obese are lazy and eat too much. Although these factors can lead to obesity, they are not the only culprits. Obesity can be caused by genetics, illness and even emotional trauma. Some children begin to suffer weight issues after their parents get a divorce or they suffer the loss of a loved one. You should monitor your child’s behavior after any traumatic event to ensure your child is dealing with their emotions properly.

Preventing childhood obesity does not have to be difficult. Here is a list of 4 simple and easy ways to prevent your child from becoming obese.

1. Breastfeeding
Breastfeeding is the best way to prevent not only childhood obesity but also other disorders like asthma. A mother’s milk is full of nutrients and is high in protein which can help establish a well-balanced metabolic rate for your child. If your child has a high metabolic rate, they are less likely to suffer from weight issues. However, if you did not breastfeed your child, you should not blame yourself for your child’s weight issues. Breastfeeding is only one piece to this very large puzzle.

2. Caloric intake
Generally, weight issues stem from eating more calories than your body expends. You should avoid giving your child high-calorie junk foods that contain excessive amounts of fats and sugar. You should substitute these with healthy, fiber-rich fruits and vegetables. If your child is slightly overweight, you should also monitor and track all the food that your child eats. This can help you and your doctor determine the proper course of action to prevent any weight issues from getting worse.

3. Exercise
You should get your child in the habit of doing consistent exercise. Obviously, you should speak with your doctor before starting your child on any exercise regimen because their muscles and bones are still developing. You do not want to hinder your child’s overall growth. Keep exercise fun; therefore, make sure it is age appropriate. A child may not want to do an hour on the Stair Master and they really should not. It may be too much for their heart and lungs to handle. If you find age appropriate exercises, your child is more likely to stay consistent and enjoy being an active individual.

4. Limit access to the television and computer
You should limit the amount of time your child spends in front of the television or computer. Research has proven that children that spend more time watching television or surfing the internet are more likely to become overweight and obese.

Preventing your child from becoming obese is extremely important and very simple. Children are very resilient and will to respond to changes fairly quickly.