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July 23, 2010

7 tips to protect your child from obesity

Filed under: Parenting Tips — Tags: , — Erin @ 6:00 am

Guest blog by Alex C.
obesity-advertisingObesity is one of the most serious problems of our century and unfortunately it affects people of all ages. Childhood obesity is a growing problem and research shows that the percentage of overweight children has doubled in the last decade. The health problems created from obesity are a lot (diabetes and heart disease to name a few) and it is vital that care is taken by parents to protect their children from this nasty disease. The good news is that there are various ways to help your children lose weight from an early age and avoid becoming obese when they grow up and this is exactly what we are going to discuss in this article.

The first thing that you need to be aware of is that the fat cells are present in children from the age of two. At this early age this is normal but if this trend continues as they grow up they end up with a high percentage of fat in their body that is difficult to get rid of. It is thus very important to deal with this situation from an early age and take all the necessary precautions to prevent this from happening.

One of the measures you can take is to help your children minimize the consumption of sweets, soft drinks and generally food and snacks that are high in fats and sugars. These items contain a lot of “empty calories” meaning that they do not have any nutritional benefit to offer to the body other than adding to the fat cells. Many of the foods offered in fast food restaurants fall into this category as well as deep fried food and food that is full of  saturated fats. Instead you should guide your children to consume more fruits and vegetables, natural and organic food, non-processed foods, fish, poultry and legumes.

While the above suggestion may sound very hard to implement since it covers nearly everything that your children may be eating, you can succeed when you approach the whole process correctly. As a start you should not try to restrict your children from eating what they want by force but you can try the following tips:

  1. Remove any sweets, chocolates, and sodas from the house. Make sure that when you visit the grocery store you buy only healthy food.
  2. Start eating healthier yourself leading the way to a healthier diet. Children are influenced by their parent’s habits so you should lead by example.
  3. Try to explain to them the dangers from eating unhealthy and how difficult this will be when they grow up.
  4. Give them alternatives where possible; for example a bag of popcorn is much healthier than a bar of chocolate.
  5. Encourage your child to play fun health and nutrition games to reinforce good food choices and healthy eating, as well as demonstrate the importance of exercise and fitness.
  6. Reward them when they are moving in the right direction. Although some experts suggest that you should not associate food with punishment or rewards, sometimes it can be beneficial to give a prize to your child when they start making healthier choices.
  7. Teach them to drink a lot of water. Water is great for many reasons and when they are accustomed to drinking a lot of water from an early age this will make a lot of things in the process easier.

Finally, the earlier in a child’s age you address the problem of obesity the better. If it’s possible you should start thinking about this during pregnancy by taking care of your eating habits. Remember that the effort you need to take as a parent when your children is still young will help them a lot in the course of their life and protect them from many unwanted situations.

alexAlex C. writes about healthy weight loss topics. All of his articles are based on healthy ways to lose weight and he has dedicated articles for weight loss tips for kids.

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1 Comment »

  1. That is very helpful. It presented me a number of ideas and I’ll be posting them on my blog soon. I’m bookmarking your blog and I’ll be back again. Thank you again!

    Comment by HCG — August 10, 2010 @ 11:28 pm

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