Overweight children can lead to more serious health issues later in life. Educating parents and children can alleviate this problem.
It seems a day does not go by without either seeing a show or hearing a news story on weight problems in children. This is reaching extremely high levels. Having been obese as a child myself, tipping the scales at 160 when I was only 13 years old, I have a great concern for these children. Being overweight triggers many problems in a person’s life.
Illnesses that can be initiated by childhood obesity:
Many parents fail to understand the results of childhood and adolescence obesity. This should be considered an illness. This can act as a springboard for other illnesses later in life. Individuals that are overweight early in their lives have a greater risk of developing high cholesterol, hypertension, respiratory ailments, orthopedic problems, depression and Type 2 diabetes. Tests have shown that Type 2 diabetes has increased dramatically in the American Indian, African American and Hispanic/Latino populations.
Situations that prompt overeating
Extensive research shows that the root cause of weight gain in many cases is emotional eating. I personally know that this was the cause of my weight problem. This coupled with the fact that my mother thought the answer to any problem was a dish of ice cream, or cookies and milk, just compounded the problem.
Family environment can initiate emotional eating problems. In families where parents are arguing and considering divorce, children sometimes turn to food for comfort. If parents stay together for the sake of the children, this can cause an atmosphere of tension and does not promote a healthy environment.
With our economic problems, work schedules can be detrimental to healthy, quality communication and support between parents and their children. This can cause insecurity adding to the challenges a child might be experiencing in their life resulting in emotional eating. It goes without saying after a parent has perhaps worked two jobs, come home to household duties and scheduling the activities of the next day, there is very little energy left to climb into bed let alone have a quality one on one conversation with your child.
Peer pressure: Overweight children usually have problems with self esteem. Their peers can cause self-induced pressure leaving a child overwhelmed. An overweight child lacks popularity with other children causing them to feel “different”. If an observant parent is not around for communication, a child seeks comfort in a bowl of ice cream of bag of cookies.
Busy schedules play a big role in the quality of food we are feeding our children and families. If your diet consists of a lot of fast-food orhighly processed foods you pick up at the grocery store, the end result can be obesity. Planning a healthy eating program can make a big difference in weight and health.
Latch-key situations: If a child spends hours alone at home after school they may not make the best food choices. The effort put into making sure healthy fruits and vegetables are available for snacks will definitely be worth it. If you find it difficult coming up with ideas, turn to the internet. You will find a lot of tips and suggestions.
The beautiful shapes in the media:
Every time we turn around we see gorgeous, thin bodies. Healthy, fit bodies fill our air waves and magazines. This can even make an adult feel “different”. Imagine how it must make a child feel.
Things to consider:
It is necessary to evaluate the total situation. Are there other issues causing the obesity such as a health issue?
Set up a healthy communication and support system for the child.
Establish healthy nutrition and exercise programs that your child understands. This information will not only help them now, but will set the foundation for a healthier adult.
Stress the importance of the illnesses that can be caused by bad nutrition and being overweight with your children. This is serious. Rehearse the discussion you are going to have with your child before you have it.
As a parent, educate yourself on the best tactics you should take with your child.
As a parent, be sure to take responsibility for your child’s nutritional habit. Too often the school lunch program is blamed.
Finally, in approaching a situation with an overweight child, it is best to make it a “family effort”. We all can do well with learning better nutrition. The Wii system consumes a lot of our children’s time. There are a lot of videos that get kids moving. Implementing these exercise oriented videos can help burn excessive calories.
Our children are valuable human beings. God entrusted these lives to us to train and bring up to add value to this world. I hope you are up to the challenge to find the time to develop happy, secure and healthy children.