Childhood obesity is a condition that is corrected by a dedicated effort to eat properly and to exercise regularly.
Unless there are extenuating circumstances diagnosed by a doctor, the same techniques for controlling obesity are appropriate for children and adults.
Reversing childhood obesity is possible if consistent efforts are made to choose the best nutrition and to provide regular exercise.
Exercise for Fun and Fitness
Childhood obesity generally occurs over a period of years, and reversing it requires an extended period of time also. Exercise is one of a child’s best friends, but competition for his or her attention is intense today.
Possibly because of the fascination with video games, children are inclined to remain inactive for many hours while the games provide entertainment.
Research has shown a clear link between childhood obesity and an inadequate amount of physical exercise. The attractiveness of the mental challenges in video games makes them a difficult opponent when a parent prefers a child to play outside. Sedentary activities that are mentally stimulating are no substitute for physical exercise.
Follow the Leader
Fitness is a family matter that helps control obesity and is essential in the prevention of childhood obesity. A well-known fact regarding children’s behavior is that it is easily influenced by example, especially one provided by parents. The time available to a parent for addressing the issue of proper exercise for a child is likely very limited.
So it is essential to the goal of providing proper exercise for a child to choose activities that accomplish several positive results. Choose one that does these things:
- Meets a child’s skill level
- Requires running, jumping or throwing
- Is fun to do
- Takes about an hour
Plenty of games meet these basic requirements for exercise goals that are available to the determined parent for implementation. No one, child or parent, enjoys exercise very much when it is a chore. Adults understand that it is necessary, but children want to do it only if it is fun for them. With a little thought, parents can encourage children to have fun and exercise at the same time.
Convenience Foods Compound the Problem
Food preparation is a time consuming activity for parents who have a busy schedule. Packaged foods are on almost every aisle in the supermarket.
They offer an appealing way to prepare a meal that does not require much time or effort. Before one chooses a highly decorated package with beautiful pictures of cooked dishes, it is important to spend some time reading the nutrition label.
Three words that one does not want to find in a packaged product are important to recognize and avoid. They describe what has happened to the food in the box before the buyer can even put a hand on it.
Because of these methods that are used by manufacturers, foods end up having less nutritional value than those that one prepares from their natural state. Here they are:
Refining Foods Diminishes Nutrients
The refining process in food usually means removing the outer portion so the white inner part is all that is left. As a general rule, white is not as good as color when one is describing food. Rice, for example, is brown in its natural state, but refining removes the healthier portion and leaves the white, starchy part.
The same kind of thing happens with refined or granulated sugar. Some experts argue that sugar is not generally helpful to the human body. A difference between brown sugar and white is that the former contains at least some calcium, phosphorous, iron, potassium and sodium while white contains almost none of these.
Processed Beyond Belief
Salt intake by children is recommended for no more than 1500 milligrams, and less is better. One teaspoon contains almost that much, so it is hard to avoid exceeding the recommended amount.
Processed foods contain a high level of salt for many reasons, including its preservative nature and its ability to disguise other components.
Enriched Sounds Good
White bread undergoes a kind of treatment that destroys the nutrients that are in the grain prior to bleaching. The enriched additives are not an adequate substitute for bread that is made from whole grains.
How to Shop
The best place to shop in a grocery store is around the walls, outside the areas where the shelves are loaded with foods to avoid. The outer ring is the place where foods are found in their natural state, including fruits, vegetables, milk and juices.
A wise shopper can take note of the location of these items, and rely on them as a strong deterrent to childhood obesity.
Kathleen Bablin is a freelance writer who loves to exercise. She enjoys switching up her workouts by finding new workout plans online.