5 Ways to Overcome Obesity in Children, Parents Must Understand

Obesity is not only a problem for adults, but also for children. In fact, overweight children tend to grow up to be obese adults. Extreme excess weight can lead to various health problems, such as type 2 diabetes, heart disease, and certain cancers.

In contrast, children who reach a healthy weight tend to be fitter, healthier, more capable of learning, and more confident. For that, our job as parents is to make sure our children have a healthy weight.

For children who are already obese, parents need to take steps to help them return to their normal weight. The following has been compiled from the pages of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and National Health ServiceThere are several things that can be done to help overcome obesity in children.

1. Keep kids active

5 Ways to Overcome Obesity in Children, Parents Must Understandillustration of children playing (pexels.com/Anete Lusina)

Children who are overweight do not need to do more exercise than children of normal weight. Naturally, the calories burned will be more for the same activity.

All children need 60 minutes of physical activity every day to support health, but this doesn’t have to be done all at once. For younger children, physical activities that are suitable for them can include active games, such as ball games, catching up, riding a bicycle, and even playing in the playground. For older children, they may enjoy cycling, walking to school, jumping, swimming, dancing, and martial arts.

2. Give children healthy food

5 Ways to Overcome Obesity in Children, Parents Must Understandillustration of a child eating vegetables (pexels.com/cottonbro)

Just like adults, children should strive to eat at least 5 servings of fruits and vegetables each day to get enough fiber, vitamins and essential minerals. Getting kids to eat 5 servings of fruit and vegetables a day shouldn’t be too difficult as long as parents can be creative.

In addition to providing fresh fruit and vegetables, parents also need to be creative so that children don’t get bored. For example, by making a salad, smoothies, popsicles, etc. However, remember not to add sugar because it will multiply calories and increase the risk of tooth decay in children.

Also read: Obesity Makes the Brain Older Faster? This is the Fact!

3. Reduce sitting time

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5 Ways to Overcome Obesity in Children, Parents Must Understandillustration of a child watching TV (pexels.com/Victoria Borodinova)

Help your child avoid sitting and lying down too much, as this makes them more likely to gain weight. Limit the amount of time your child spends on inactive entertainment, such as watching TV and playing on the phone.

Experts recommend that children not watch television more than 2 hours every day. Instead, encourage children to find fun activities to do with family members or alone.

4. Make sure your child gets enough sleep

5 Ways to Overcome Obesity in Children, Parents Must Understandillustration of a sleeping child (pexels.com/Ron Lach)

Children who don’t get the recommended amount of sleep are more likely to be overweight. The less children sleep, the greater their risk of being overweight. Lack of sleep can also affect their mood and behavior, including overeating.

On the other hand, getting enough, restful sleep helps children to have a healthy weight. Parents can help their child get enough sleep by establishing a regular bedtime schedule and keeping children away from gadgets at least one hour before bedtime because of the screen gadgets can cause difficulty falling asleep.

5. Feed the child according to the portion

5 Ways to Overcome Obesity in Children, Parents Must Understandillustration of a child eating (pexels.com/RODNAE Productions)

Try to avoid feeding your child large portions at once. A good rule of thumb is to start with small meals and let your child ask for more after they’ve finished eating and are still hungry.

Avoid using adult-sized plates for children as this encourages them to eat large portions. Also, beware of high-calorie foods. Knowing how many calories your child consumes each day and balancing this with the amount of energy they use in activities will help your child achieve a healthy weight.

Returning a child’s weight to a healthy number is very important for a child’s short and long term health. If your child is already obese, parents need to help their child control their weight while showing support. Make them understand that you love them, no matter how physical they are, and that what you are doing is because you want your child to be healthy and happy.

Also Read: Recognize 5 Impacts of Obesity on Brain Health, Beware!

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