Childhood Obesity: What Can Parents Do To Avoid It?

There’s so much talk of late about the growing problem of obesity. Poor diet and lack of exercise are the key causes of obesity, and this quite often stems from lifestyle. There are all manner of reasons why a person could end up excluding exercise form their daily routines or eat nothing but fatty junk foods.

Busy Schedules Shouldn’t Be an Excuse

Many adults in the modern world live their lives to a tight schedule. Much of their waking day is consumed by working long hours and running daily errands. After a hard day, many people opt for a quick micro-meal rather than slaving over a hot stove. Winding down in front of the television often sounds like a more favourable option than heading to the gym.

This cycle continues and before you know it, you’ve piled on a few pounds and if you continue like this, your health will only deteriorate. This is how many adults become obese, but what about kids? They don’t have hectic schedules and shouldn’t they love running around and playing with friends? It would seem not.

Is Social Change to Blame?

Society is changing at an alarming rate. There have been so many technological advances in recent years, which is perhaps one of the root causes of this rapid social change. Nowadays, kids will often trade in playing out in the park for an evening playing video games, watching TV and surfing the net. If this is what happens all of the time, how are kids supposed to burn off all that energy?

Many of today’s parents come one of the first generations to have experienced this uprising in technology and ready meals, and it would appear that their bad living habits have been passed on to the kids. How can you blame the kids for becoming increasingly unhealthy if the parents are equally as bad? ‘Lead by example’ should always be the parenting rule of thumb.

Not to Dismiss the Fact That Obesity is Often Seen as a Disease

Of course, there are plenty of examples whereby obesity has taken over a child’s life through no fault of their own, or indeed their parents. It is recognised as a genuine illness, and sometimes it is not strictly bad living habits that are to blame. Yet for the vast majority, it is simply down to choice of lifestyle.

As parents, it should be our duty to steer our kids away from an unhealthy lifestyle, not only because of the health threats that will ensue in later life, but also because an active, healthy life is often a happier life. And isn’t that what we want for our kids? Eating healthily doesn’t have to be boring. Be inventive with healthy foods. With a bit of thought, you can make vegetables tastier than any fast foods and you should actively encourage your kids to get up and become more active. The list of positive effects this will have on your child’s life is endless.

This was a guest post from Barry Magennis – a devoted parent and husband.