Childhood Obesity: How To Maintain a Healthy Weight
In a recent study, childhood obesity affected nearly 14.4 million children in America between ages 2-19. Kids who are overweight are more likely to be overweight in adulthood as well. This can impact their health in the future by increasing their risk for serious problems including joint pain, breathing and sleep difficulties, type 2 diabetes, heart disease, cancer, high cholesterol, and high blood pressure. Additionally, children who are obese can also have a higher chance of experiencing bullying, low confidence, and negative impacts on their mental health. However, with the proper health guidance and right habits put into practice, obesity doesn’t have to be a part of your child’s story too.
Here are the key things parents should know about preventing childhood obesity!
Children who are most at risk include those who:
- Consume foods and beverages with high calories and low nutrients
- Aren’t physically active often enough
- Spend an increased amount of time doing sedentary activities, especially with high screen time
Keep them moving – When possible, try to reduce the amount of time your child spends on sedentary activities such as watching television, playing videos games, or using other smart devices. Keeping your child physically active has a number of health benefits including improved heart health, stronger brain functioning, and building physical strength!
Balanced diet – Maintaining a balanced diet is one of the main pathways to a happy, healthy childhood! It’s important for your child to consume a variety of healthy foods to get the most beneficial combination of nutrients to grow healthy and strong. This should generally include a blend of fruits, vegetables, whole grains, protein, healthy oils, dairy, and water.
Partner with a pediatrician – Partnering closely with you child’s pediatrician is a sure way to obtain professional advice that’s effective but also receive a customized plan that works with your child’s lifestyle. Our new pediatrician, Dr. Stacey Abraham, is passionate about helping your child maintain good health and enjoys educational discussions focused on boundaries regarding screen time, healthy eating, exercise, and mental health.
Click here to learn more about Dr. Abraham and schedule an appointment with her.
Your child’s pediatrician can help you monitor their health by regularly tracking their growth and BMI (body mass index) to let you know if your child’s weight could potentially cause obesity or other health problems. Prevention through healthy choices is key to avoid obesity for your child now and later.
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