5 Ways to Combat Childhood Obesity

A disturbing fact is, obesity rates continue to increase at an alarming pace, thus forcing us to ask the question whether this is due to a general lack of physical activity, or whether it’s due to poor diets. Admittedly, there is certainly a link between obesity and the increasing popularity of junk food, but studies also show that even with fast foods being in abundance, calorie intake amongst children as not increased as significantly as what exercise levels have decreased.

In fact, children from low income families who still have to walk or cycle to school are a good example of this growing trend. Unlike them, kids in medium to high income families are for the most part being driven to school, thus denying them an opportunity to exercise. Likewise, these self same kids have been caught up in a world which consists of hundreds of different television channels, the internet, and of course the ever popular computer games.

Start a kid’s fitness program! The bottom line is, starting a kid’s fitness program at home is what this is all about, Fair enough, you may well have your own reasons why you don’t want your kids to walk to school but if they not getting any exercise this way, then you really ought to cut back on the amount of time they spend staring at the box, or sit in front of a computer. Nobody is saying you need to get them lifting weights but instead, you need to realize that no matter what exercise you get them involved in, it’s bound to do them only good. If they want to watch TV or play computer games then by all means allow it, but ideally, you should make them earn it.

Get them signed up! Fortunately for us as parents, most schools and community centers still offer kids an opportunity to get involved in football, dancing, swimming or some other form of extracurricular exercise. What’s more, the vast majority of such centers are genuinely affordable for most working class families although when one considers the potential cost for treating some obesity related conditions, even a personal trainer is cheap by comparison. Over and above the health benefits, your child will also benefit from learning something new.

Say goodbye to soda-pops! One thing that never ceases to amaze me is the fact of just how effective shrewd marketing can be. Let’s face if, how could it possibly be good for any child to constantly drink a mixture of sugar and phosphorus. In fact, you could probably half obesity rates simply by banning soda-pops.

Set fast-food limits! Just as with soda-pop manufacturers, fast food companies have also done a remarkable job. From amusement parks to theatres and circuses, fast food companies have successfully managed to captivate the imagination of our youth, from childhood all the way into adulthood. Of course, while many fast food outlets now also offer healthier alternatives, in reality, not many teenagers are going to hangout over a salad platter. Essentially, if you manage to swing things so that rather than being a staple, fast food rather becomes a treat, you’ll have achieved a great milestone in preventing obesity in your kids.

Encourage plenty of activity! Let’s face it, it’s all too easy to slump down on the couch for hours on end staring at the TV. However, you need to take a positive stance, even if it means you limit the amount of time your kids are allowed to watch TV. Get them outdoors in the fresh air whether it’s to take part in family hikes, or whether it’s for some other outdoor activity. Remember, while you’ll be doing what’s best for your kids, you’ll also be doing what’s best for you, providing of course that you also get involved as you should.

BOLA TANGKAS