Even in our health savvy society, the number of children today who are obese is on the rise. Too many children are dining on fast food and sitting in front of the television for hours watching their favorite shows or playing video games. This opens the door to a lot of problems, including the risk of becoming obese.
Childhood obesity can be prevented. Here are a few ways to lower your childís risk of becoming overweight:
1. Start early. Itís important that you begin some form of physical activity with your child as early on as possible. It may be going for a walk after dinner or playing on the playground, but the earlier you begin to establish an active lifestyle with your child, the more likely they are to stick with it.
2. Set a good example. Youíve probably heard the saying, ďThe apple doesnít fall far from the tree.Ē The same is true in regards to physical fitness. If you show that you value being healthy and active, chances are that your child will too.
3. Get you child involved in regular, physical activity that she enjoys. There is so much variety in the types of physical activities that are available. From organized sports to play groups, there are several options to choose from. Provide your child with plenty of opportunities to find what interests her.
4. Put a limit on the number of hours being spent in front of the television. The biggest reason children become inactive is because they spend too many hours watching TV. By setting appropriate limits, your child can cultivate interests in other activities, many of which involve getting off of the couch.
5. Remember -- itís about nutrition, too! Not only should you provide opportunities for physical activity, but healthy food choices are also important. Again, starting early and setting a good example are critical in developing good eating habits. Itís important to teach your child about the food groups. Also, encourage him to help plan and prepare meals. It can be a great way to get your child involved in learning about having a balanced diet.
Childhood obesity can have far reaching consequences. Fortunately, itís never too late to help your child establish new habits. With exercise and a balanced diet, children can grow into healthy, productive adults.
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