The best thing you can do for your child? Educate yourself on health.
Obese children are at a higher risk for heart disease, type 2 diabetes and other chronic health conditions such as asthma and sleep apnea. Further, because obese children are more likely to be bullied, they often suffer from social isolation, depression, and low self-esteem. Preventing childhood obesity is important to protect your child’s physical, social and emotional health — use these tips to help.
Three Tips to Prevent Childhood Obesity:
- Eat healthier – aim for fruits and vegetables at every meal. While many kids are averse to certain vegetables, they usually don’t hate all of them. Just because your children can’t stand broccoli doesn’t mean they won’t enjoy peas or asparagus. Do your best to cut out processed foods, fast food and drink plenty of water.
- Get moving – find something your kids love to do. So as long as your kids are moving, it doesn’t matter if it’s through a dance class or running around on the playground. Many kids also love meeting new friends through competitive sports.
- Embrace moderation – if you have an obese child, that doesn’t mean you have to cut out birthday cake. Use the opportunity as a teaching moment to show that you can still enjoy one piece of cake without overindulging.
The best way to implement these tips is to start from an early age. Help your children understand why you’re making healthy choices, and they may be excited to join in.
Thanks to Mercy Health pediatrician, Rachel Lowdenback, MD, for sharing these tips to prevent childhood obesity. If you have further questions about your child’s health, our doctors can help. Visit mercy.com to find a doctor near you.