Childhood Obesity Rates at Home and in Schools Weight Loss Help Blog
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Childhood Obesity Rates at Home and in Schools
Childhood obesity around the U.S. has more than tripled in the past 30 years. A person is traditionally considered to be obese if they are more than 20 percent over their ideal weight. Obesity has been more precisely defined by the National Institutes of Health (the NIH) as a BMI of 30 and above. From 1980 to 2008 obesity among children aged 6 to 11 years increased from 6.5% to 19.6%. In the same time period obesity among adolescents aged 12 to 19 years increased from 5.0% to 18.1%.
Although childhood obesity rates vary around the country if you feel this is a problem in your area, and your child is at what you feel to be an unhealthy weight you can make a difference. In order to make a difference you need to think about what you can do at home and what needs to be changed at your child’s school.
Some schools serve foods that area major part of the cause of childhood obesity. These schools have food available that are made by companies that sponsor school meals. Many of these are companies you probably recognize. These are national chains that have struck deals with schools to make their food available in the cafeteria. Children go to school and have a choice of whatever healthy food the school may have or what they can buy from outside vendors. As you can imagine, many of the children go for the “brand” names, even though those foods are not so good for them.
Some schools are only doing the best that they can do. The obesity found in these schools may be related to the cutting the budget of some of the programs these schools had to help children stay healthy. One program that is being cut nearly everywhere is physical education. Some schools have eliminated the program entirely, while others have cut back from having this every day to just one or two days a week. This results in children not getting as much exercise and not being exposed to fun games and sports. Without this exposure they may never develop interest in these games and sports. Without these in their life, they can rely on other things to do, such as video games, which contain absolutely no health value.
Childhood obesity, especially in schools may be a result of our present economy. Because the reduced level of funding in schools today there may be nothing you can do about those changes. Some studies have determined that this presently is a cause of childhood obesity. However, there are things you can do at home to help your children stay healthy.
Make sure your children are getting healthy foods for breakfast and dinner. Limit how often you eat fast foods or other foods that are high in calories yet low in nutritional value. Plan games and activities that get your children up and moving and have them participate in them a few times a week. Put limits on the time they can watch TV and play video games. Take away their phones for a few hours during family time.
The best thing you can do is to lead by example. Childhood obesity is often linked to parent obesity. Of course, in school you may have very little influence of your child’s healthy habits. But at home leading by example is one of the most powerful tools you have in relation to fighting obesity in your children. Eat right and exercise without making a big deal out of what you are doing. Make living a healthy lifestyle who you are. Don’t talk about the health benefits of what you are doing – act as if it is what you do and it is how things should naturally be. Your children learn and grow by watching you. Even though they will not be perfect, they will pick up some of the same habits you do. Make sure they are picking up positive habits.
Yes, childhood obesity rates are going up, but your children don’t have to participate in those rates. The cause of childhood and adult obesity are the same – eating too much and not exercising enough. Make it a point to live a healthy lifestyle and give your children the gift of a long healthy life. You and your children are worth it!
Wil Dieck is the founder of Total Mind Therapy a combination of hypnosis and NLP and a number of e-courses including a “Weight Loss Secrets” program that you can have for no charge or obligation.
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Tagged with: cause of childhood obesity • childhood obesity in schools • childhood obesity rates • obesity in schools
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