Obesity in Your Children 2014

Obesity is prevalent around the world!

The United States currently has the second highest obesity rate today. The use of cheap processed food items, lack of awareness, socioeconomic status and chronic diseases are some of the risk factors that lead to childhood obesity, but are often ignored. Childhood obesity sets the stage for a number of health problems later in life such as diabetes, hypertension (high blood pressure), or even death due to clogged arteries (Reinert).


Children these days have terrible foods presented to them everyday multiple times. The BMI (body mass index) of an underweight child is under 18.5. A normal weight child would be in the range of 18.5 to 24.9 BMI. An overweight child is in the range of 25 and 29.9 BMI. Also, obese children tend to be over 30 BMI due to many different factors working together against the body systems (Berk). These high levels in BMI can be caused by other major factors in a child or teen. While the standard BMI formula is used for children and teens, the results are interpreted differently, according to the CDC. This is because healthy weight ranges vary widely due to age and sex before adulthood is reached (Reinert). One will find that becoming over weight or even obese can be identified, reacted to, and controlled in every child.

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Factors That Can determine Your Child's Weight...But Should They?

Today we are facing problems in the United States that are effecting the way we intake food and at what rate. Factors like socioeconomic status effect what we can afford as far as travel to a grocery store to just purchasing healthy food in the grocery store. Schools have also cut the amount of physical activity a student acquires in a week from 5 days to 3 days to every other day every other week. Some parents also do not realize that their child's sleep cycle is very important. Sleep and exercise both control appetite in a developing child. Teaching your kids that all these factors do not have to be detrimental to their weight gain. Push sleep, healthy eating the plenty of physical activity (Berk).

Provide better Eating habits at home

If they have a general idea of what taste better and makes them feel better I'm sure they will look for the same types of food all the time. Children in the middle ages (7-12) start to become very active with school, sports, and extracurricular activities. They need to start eating the right foods (Reinert).


Reasons why:

  • "Baby fat" will continue to fall off. The older they get, the more harmful fat in the body becomes.
  • Healthy calories to continue activities without the crash later.
  • The child will eventually develop a disease, heart problems, or blood pressure problems from continues unhealthy consumption.
  • Your child will do better in school due to better focus from better foods. Also, these new foods will help set a good sleep schedule. Sleep is just as important or maybe even more than eating healthy food.

Frequently Asked Questions

What if I can not afford to change my child's food variety?

Believe it or not, but having your kids bring food from home will not only be healthier, but also cheaper if you buy whats in season. The lunch they packed will be more fulfilling while they are at school as well. The worst thing a child can do is buy 2-3 processed snacks from a machine, and feel lazier and more tired then they were after the unhealthy lunch.

Can my child be offered better alternatives at school?

Yes. you may not know this, but there are already healthier alternatives at school. Teaching your kids that a cup of fruit or whole fruit is better for them then french fries. Also, letting them make the association that peanut butter and jelly is better then chicken nuggets out of the fryer. The oils are different and therefore, have a different effect on their metabolism.

Where do I start on fixing my child's overweight (or obese) habit?

You can start by shopping on the outside rim of the grocery store. Buying less or no processed foods will have an great effect on your child's metabolism.

References

Brown, Jennifer J., PhD. "Medscape Log In." Medscape Log In. N.p., 19 Nov. 2010. Web. 25 Mar. 2014.


Reinert, K. (2012). Beyond baby fat: The truth about the childhood obesity epidemic. 28(5), 34-37. Retrieved from http://search.ebscohost.com/login.aspx?direct=true&db=cmh&AN=79278711&site=chc-live.


Berk, L. E. (2010). Development through the lifespan (5th ed.). Boston: Allyn & Bacon.