Is childhood obesity a crime?
Childhood obesity facts
- Obese children and adolescents have shown an alarming increase in the incidence of type 2 diabetes, also known as adult-onset diabetes.
- Many obese children have high cholesterol and blood pressure levels, which are risk factors for heart disease.
- One of the most severe problems for obese children is sleep apnea (interrupted breathing while sleeping). In some cases this can lead to problems with learning and memory.
- Obese children have a high incidence of orthopedic problems, liver disease, and asthma.
- Overweight adolescents have a 70 percent chance of becoming overweight or obese adults.
Help your child maintain a healthy weight
- Be supportive. Children know if they are overweight and don't need to be reminded or singled out. They need acceptance, encouragement and love.
- Set guidelines for the amount of time your children can spend watching television or playing video games.
- Plan family activities that involve exercise. Instead of watching TV, go hiking or biking, wash the car, or walk around a mall. Offer choices and let your children decide.
- Be sensitive. Find activities your children will enjoy that aren't difficult or could cause embarrassment.
- Eat meals together as a family and eat at the table, not in front of a television. Eat slowly and enjoy the food.
- Don't use food as a reward or punishment. Children should not be placed on restrictive diets, unless done so by a doctor (for medical reasons). Children need food for growth, development and energy.
- Involve your children in meal planning and grocery shopping. This helps them learn and gives them a role in the decision making.
- Keep healthy snacks on hand. Good options include fresh, frozen, or canned fruits and vegetables; low-fat cheese, yogurt or ice cream; frozen fruit juice bars; and cookies such as fig bars, graham crackers, gingersnaps or vanilla wafers.
- Focus on small, gradual changes in eating and activity patterns. This helps form habits that can last a lifetime.