How to Prevent Obesity in Children

Obesity in children remains a significant issue because it affects the emotional, mental and physical health of these young individuals. Examples of challenges your child may encounter if he is obese include stressed joints, Type 2 diabetes, heart ailments and low self esteem. Prevention of child obesity, among other weight issues children may face, can increase the eventuality of developing into a well-adjusted grown individual.

1. Breastfeeding remains the most excellent way to establish your child on the path of good nutrition and good health. According to Medical News Today, breastfeeding your baby for a period beyond three months significantly reduces the chances for developing an obese child. The longer a period spent breastfeeding, the more favorable the outcome. The World Health Organization recommends mothers practice breastfeeding until their child is at least two and one-half years. Breastfeeding proves more advantageous in the fight against child obesity because milk formulas contain sugar. As such, when you introduce baby formula in lieu of breast milk, you regularly give sugar to your child. This adds to the fat stores of the baby and may eventually lead to child obesity.

2. As the baby develops and starts to consume solid foods, you must take note of the amount of simple carbohydrates, sugars and unnecessary fats in her diet. Promote the intake of fruits, proteins, vegetables, whole grains and foods that have calcium such as dairy products, legumes and dark green vegetables to your child. Also, persuade your child to drink a lot of milk, water, and 100% fruit juice. Introducing your child to a variety of healthy foods at a young age will encourage a lifetime love of healthy foods. At the same time, this will lessen the possibility of your child becoming picky when it comes to food. Additionally, set an example of healthy eating habits to keep your child on the path toward good nutrition. Avoid having candies, chips and soda in the house. Prepare meals at home and have your child participate in cooking. Be the first to educate your child about nutrition. Do not force your child to eat a lot. However, give your child small portions but adequately healthy servings. Do not use food to reward or console your child. Keep food indulgences for special events. Set an appointment with your pediatrician at north raleigh pediatrics to discuss how you can battle child obesity.

3. The lifestyle of children today has grown sedentary with the emergence of television, personal computers and video games. These activities contribute to obesity among children. The National Association for Sports and Physical Education recommends the regulation of these sedentary activities to prevent childhood obesity. Also, your toddler should have 30 minutes per day of structured play, and your preschooler should have one hour. In addition, you should also have an hour set aside for daily free play for both toddlers and preschoolers. For children in school, ensure the school schedule includes at least one hour of exercise that progresses with 15-minute increments. Organized exercises should gear toward the development of a child’s endurance, flexibility and strength.

Filed Under: Sports & Fitness


About the Author: By profession, Ralph Crutcher is a swimmer but enjoys playing football, Golf, and regularly goes to the gym to keep himself fit and healthy. This is one of the reasons; he likes to write about sports and fitness.

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