Don’t believe me? Doug Robb of Health Habits wrote about a study comparing childhood obesity in 1967 and now.
The findings: children considered obese in 1967 are considered normal by today’s standards.
What can we do about childhood obesity?
Teach your kids how to eat healthy. Teach them that just because foods taste good does not mean they should gorge themselves. Moderation is the key, even for foods that you and I would avoid completely.
Please don’t go putting your child on a fad diet. It seems like common sense to me, but fad diets will not work for children.
Kids have different nutritional needs than adults and are often unable to lose more than 2-3 pounds of fat a month. On the other hand, adults can sometimes lose 5 or even 10 pounds of body weight in a single week. This is not good for most kids.
Read this article on how the latest fad diets won’t help your kids lose weight.
I have actually known parents who put their kids on a diet at the age of 10, and those kids usually end up having weight loss issues as adults. This could all have been avoided if the parents would simply have educated themselves on childhood weight management strategies.
Some Childhood Weight Management Strategies
- Try to get your kids to eat small frequent meals, with lots of fruits and veggies.
- Lean meats are always great, and you should encourage your child to try to enjoy a salad with low fat dressing.
- Sugary foods should be enjoyed in moderation only.
- Snacking at night is a no-no, especially before bed.
- Encourage healthy breakfast cereals rather than sugary ones.
- Pack healthy snacks in your child’s lunch box.
- Always encourage your child to choose water, even if it’s flavored, over sugar juice drinks or cola.
- Encourage at least 30 minutes of physical exercise every single day.
- Discourage fast food. There is no real Taco Bell Diet or Subway Diet, those are gimmicks.
Achieving these goals is easier said than done, but if your children grow up hearing these simple dietary rules, and if they see YOU practice these eating habits, they will be very likely to follow healthy eating habits for the rest of their days. Nothing worth accomplishing is ever very easy.