Sometimes it sneaks up on you, one minute your kids are cute, round and healthy and the next minute you are being told they are obese. How do you get control? Read on to find out causes, risks and what you can do.
What cause child obesity?
The leading cause of obesity in children is the lack of physical activity. And rightfully so, we parents and our society are to be blamed for this. Many of us simply cave into nagging and get the video gaming consoles. In our childhood, we would just run like crazies in a park every day! Swings and slides would thrill us to the core! Talk about the days when we would bicycle and skate till we were all sweat! Now the kids have become comfortable in their comfy chair and want to remain indoors perched in front of a screen. They would rather appreciate the graphics of games than a beautiful, clear day!
Give a child a McDonald’s cheeseburger and s/he will never refuse! Whatever happened to eating healthy? And eating the greens seems to be a torture for kids, today. All the junk food, unhealthy snacks, and fatty foods have contributed to childhood obesity. Check out what Jamie Oliver is saying. The facts are staggering! Thanks to all the food brands and advertising, kids can top up any food with high-calorie ketchup, cheese, mayonnaise, double cream, chocolate syrups and what not. They taste awfully amazing but then those inches start creeping in!
Oh well, genetics do contribute to child obesity but that’s not always the case. Sometimes obesity runs in the blood but then other factors also play up like the eating behavior of a family and their lifestyle. There is no research that proves that kids with obese parents are guaranteed to be obese, too.
Is your child obese?
You may be suspicious that your child is becoming obese if your young child is rather sluggish, reluctant to move about and won’t fit in clothes meant for his/her age. If you are noticing these signs, it is time to visit the doctor or public health nurse.
A doctor will record your child’s weight and height to calculate the Body Mass Index or BMI. You could check your child’s BMI yourself here.
As a thumb rule, you could use this chart as your guide to assessing childhood obesity:
Knowing the risks
If having an obese child is not alarming to you, you definitely need to think again. Obesity if uncontrolled during childhood, it will continue to haunt your kids throughout their lives. You wouldn’t want your kids to hold you accountable for not controlling their eating habits when they get in their teens years and get mocked as being a “fatty” or “fatso”!
Childhood obesity may result in high cholesterol, high blood pressure, increased risks of heart problems, acne and skin problems for your kids. Diabetes and bone problems are also consequences of childhood obesity. So the next time you catch your kids with the bag of Doritos and watching TV, you better need to do something about it.
What can be done?
To start with, you need to make your kids love physical activity. Encourage them to go outdoors and exert. Taking part in sports at their school can greatly help them hone their physical and mental growth. Exercise digital detox and unplug on a daily basis.
Get them enrolled in physical activity classes like yoga, swimming, karate, kickboxing etc. You could even make them walk or bike to and from their schools and classes. This will save you some time, too.
Next, you need to keep an eye on what kind of food they consume throughout the day. Restrict too much snacking and bring down frequent visits to restaurants. Reward them for eating their greens and prepare home-made lunch or their school recess.
Parental Controls to the rescue!
Did you know that there is a parental control app that can help you monitor your child’s progress in sticking to their exercising routines? To encourage my daughter to cycle daily and complete 30 laps, I use a parental control app to help her assess her daily cycling routine. Using these parental controls, you could view their location history to see where they have been and the distance traveled.
Jeez, is there anything these parental control applications can’t do!