So far I have written articles giving you information about being overweight and what to do about losing those unwanted pounds.
Now comes the time for me to write and inform those of us who have children how to proceed in order to avoid the overweight pit falls with our children.
But first, let me tell you that in the last two decades in the US, not only do we have one out of every five children are overweight or obese, but unfortunately this number has grown by over 50% and those who are obese has nearly doubled. With the age of computers, have come the age of being sedentary; seating in front of a TV when they come from school for hours on end, instead of playing outside, exercising, bicycle riding when and where ever possible, playing basket ball and so on.
Most children of today are already beginning to have their arteries clogged with fat and cholesterol from all the wrong foods we feed them, believe it or not. Children who have overweight parents are more likely to become overweight themselves, how could they not, they are eating the same foods their parents are. Children who have one parent who is overweight or obese, have a 40 percent probability that they also will become overweight or obese; if both parents are obese, then the percentage doubles to 80 percent.
Remember, our children do not have credit cards, they are not the ones who buy the junk food, the boxed cereals, the candy, the cakes, the cookies… shall I go on? What about the processed meats including those hot dogs that we love to give them because they are an easy meal. Do we realize these meats are loaded with fat, sodium, nitrites used to enhance the color of the meats and prolong their shelve life? And this is just the tip of the iceberg.
We are embarrassed or reluctant when buying food to tell our kids they are better off eating fruit rather than cereals loaded with sugars when they are having a fit over that box that has the toy in it or offer of one.
If our children are overweight, we as parents are the enablers, because it is our responsibility to teach them about nutrition, about eating vegetables, fruits and grains, so they will develop a healthy eating habit as they grow. Start with those lunches for school, include fruits rather than cookies, sandwiches with lean natural meats without chemicals, they can drink milk in school rather than juices with too much sugar. Try it before it’s too late to train them.
We learn early in life that food is for all kinds of comfort. We teach our kids that sodas and sweets are to celebrate and vegetables are a punishment when early in life we should start feeding them those healthy foods so that it will become as natural to them as the air they breathe.
Don’t forget that being overweight or obese will bring, in addition to health problems, issues related to their self image. Children in school tend to call them names, make fun of them, and humiliate them. It is important to avoid this route at all cost.
Best of health to you and your family.