Easy Ways You Can Help to Prevent Childhood Obesity
Did you know that our military is threatened because of the childhood obesity epidemic? That’s right. Not enough of the applicants can pass the physical required after recruitment. This should point out how severe the problem has become.
It’s easy to point fingers and blame everyone around us about this menace. However, the time has come for action, not finger pointing. It means that all of us have some responsibility to deal with it. What can we do?
While there is plenty to do for all of us, we parents have the primary role. We’re the ones that choose what our children eat for most meals, and we decide what they can and can’t do in our homes. Despite the exhaustion that can come from a full time job, we can’t give in to what is easiest. Here are a few ways we can do to deal with the crisis:
Examples: Children look to adults for guidance. Parents and teachers are always setting an example for the kids, whether they intend to or not. If we try to make sure we eat properly and get enough exercise, this will encourage the kids to do the same thing.
Join In: It’s not just about what kids eat, it’s also about what they do. Growing up, my parents encouraged us to play by playing with us. We’d play softball, badminton and other active games. This showed us that exercise can be fun and that everyone needs to do it, not just kids.
Limit Screen Use: Due to our technology laden lifestyle, children spend between six and eight hours a day staring at one screen or another. Cell phones, iPads, computers, game devices and the television are constantly in use. This does two things. First, most of them are passive pastimes. There’s little to no movement involved. Second, it can seriously damage their eyes, neither of which are good.
Support: If you’re not a parent, you can help by supporting the parents around you. Your relatives and neighbors could use help in this area. Parenting isn’t easy and changing set in habits is going to be frustrating for both parents and children. Parents can always use a sympathetic ear.
Talk: Talk to your children about choices and show them that this is an important issue. Take them to the supermarket and have them help to pick healthy foods to snack on. Also, talk to your school district about having healthy lunches served in the cafeteria. This is one of your biggest assets.
Preventing childhood obesity is an issue we should all care about. While parents have the biggest burden, we should all do what we can to help.