Childhood obesity is at an all-time high with one out of every five children in the United States being considered obese, according to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention.
With a rise in these rates, other health conditions - heart disease, Type 2 Diabetes, asthma, sleep apnea – are also increasing among children.
Obese children are at a higher risk to become obese adults and the risk factors associated with weight are more likely to be severe. These children also have a higher risk of being the target of bullying, having lower self-esteem and potential depression and behavioral issues.
The best thing families can do is start positive habits early.
Battling Obesity Starts at Home
Childhood obesity can be prevented. Here are some simple steps you can take, and these changes start with family at home:
Eat together as a family. Studies have found that families that eat dinner together most days of the week have children who are less likely to be obese and are likelier to have healthier eating habits.
Offer healthful food options. Be sure to provide lots of fruits and vegetables, including low-fat dairy for children over age 2. Opt for whole grains and choose lean meats and proteins.
Serve appropriate portions. Be sure you are providing your kids with age appropriate portion sizes.
Promote physical activity. Kids should partake in 60 minutes of moderate-to-vigorous activity most days of the week. Take time as a family to be active and more importantly…have fun!
Limit screen time to two hours or less. Replace screen time with physical activity or other activities that use creativity and imagination.
Click here for some healthy, easy recipes your whole family can enjoy.