September is National Childhood Obesity Awareness Month, a time to talk about the health issue affecting 1 out of 5 children in the United States.
Obesity is an issue that typically follows children into adulthood, so correcting the problem at a young age is vital. Grand Parkway Emergency Center urges parents to educate themselves on the causes and implications of childhood obesity, as well as ways to avoid it.
A child is considered obese if they have a body mass index (BMI) in the 95th percentile for children their same age and gender. In 2019, there are approximately 13.7 million children and adolescents in America who are obese.
There are many roles at play when it comes to childhood obesity. Most people associate obesity with excess, and while overeating is a factor, some of the biggest influences on a child’s weight stem from what’s lacking.
- Not getting enough restful sleep
- Not drinking enough water
- Not getting enough physical activity
- Not having safe places to go in the community to get physical activity
- Not having access to affordable, healthier foods
- Not getting balanced meals at home
Most of these influences in a child’s life can change for the better with the help of an adult.
How to fight childhood obesity
When approaching the topic of obesity or weight with your child, be sure your words come from a loving and supportive place, as they may feel embarrassed or ashamed.
Here are ways you can help your child maintain a healthy BMI:
1. Make your weight a priority
Kids can learn a great deal by watching their parent’s actions. By committing to a healthy lifestyle yourself, your child will be influenced to create healthy habits as well.
2. Clean up your grocery list
Children eat what’s provided for them, so focus on the nutritional value of the food you’re stocking the fridge and pantry with. Eliminating foods and drinks high in sugar and fat from your grocery list will ensure the whole family eats healthier at home.
3. Set boundaries
Establish a health-oriented routine with clear hours set for physical activity. Making rules that limit TV and couch time will promote a more active daily schedule.
4. Make it fun
Kids will respond better to healthy lifestyle changes if it’s fun. Joining a Little League team or signing up for swim classes are great ways for children to get exercise while being entertained.
5. Take away the pressure
Ditch the “Clean Plate Club” and try not to insist they need to eat a certain amount. Rewarding a child for eating or withholding something until they finish everything on their plate can embed long-term overeating habits.
Grand Parkway Emergency Center encourages parents and children to invest in their health by eating right and exercising frequently. In the case of an accident or medical emergency, our premier facility is open 24/7, 365 days a year. The Grand Parkway community can rest assured they’ll always be in good hands with our highly trained staff of doctors and nurses ready to help.
Disclaimer: As a service to our readers, Grand Parkway Emergency Center and Nutex Health state no content on this site, regardless of date, should ever be used as a substitute for direct medical advice from your doctor or other qualified clinicians.
Nutex Health, Inc supports you and your family’s health. You can depend on Grand Parkway Emergency Center, or any one of our concierge-level, medical facilities to deliver the emergency care you deserve.