Obesity was once largely uncommon in always-on-the-move kids; however, in recent decades, the number of children tipping the scales above the desired weight has increased precipitously. Now many children are already on the road to health problems due to the carrying of extra weight. If you are concerned about your child’s weight, consider the importance of weight maintenance, what being overweight could mean and how you, as the custodian of your child’s diet, can help him maintain a healthy body weight.
The prevalence of childhood weight problems, which has been on the rise for years, is now at epidemic proportions. As KidsHealth reports, one in three kids is now currently overweight. Experts worry that if parents don’t play a larger role in combating this problem, the numbers will only continue to rise, putting the future health of a large number of citizens at risk.
While a day of fun for a child once meant running around the neighborhood with friends, it now all too often includes little activity, consisting of sedentary amusement such as watching TV, playing video games or going to the movies. This along with the ever-growing portion sizes offered by most restaurants and bloated fat content present in many restaurants’ entrees and prepared foods, is leading to an increase in the average youth waistline.
While being overweight as a child may seem like an obstacle that is easy to overcome, in truth, carrying excess weight during formative years can have major life long health issues. As WebMD reports, overweight children are prone to an assortment of medical conditions, including high blood pressure, diabetes, sleep disorders, bone and joint problems and early physical maturation.
Being overweight can also have an emotional impact on children. Children who carry extra weight throughout their childhood are more likely to be depressed, reports WebMD. They are also more likely to develop emotion-related issues later in life, such as substance abuse issues or eating disorders.
Preventing Weight Issues
As a parent, you are the individual most capable of preventing your child from becoming overweight. To reduce your child’s likelihood of suffering weight issues, be a good diet and exercise role model. Engage your whole family in an assortment of physical activities each week to show that movement is important. Prepare meals at home instead of going out, and take care to ensure that your prepared meals are balanced and as lean as possible. By taking these steps, you can not only make your kid’s childhood better, but also help him avoid later-in-life consequences of carrying extra weight.