Whitney is a mom trying to evoke a healthy, happy life for herself and her family.
Every year, the figures for overweight children rise, which is why parents and anyone who works with children, needs to know how to help child obesity. There are so many health problems that adults suffer, and now children are suffering from them because they are overweight. The following are just a few increased health conditions that are associated with excess weight.
- Bowel cancer
- Early osteoporosis
- High blood pressure
- Increased risk of heart attack or stroke
- Skin and joint problems
- Type 2 diabetes
The physical health conditions aren't the only problems that overweight children suffer. They are more prone to being made fun of, which can lead to poor self-esteem, lack of confidence, and depression.
In TV shows, movies, and cartoons, the "fat kid" is often mocked; this isn't just on the screen. It's in real life, too.
Prevent child obesity before more health problems arise. If you have an overweight child, don't sit by and continue feeding him chips, cookies, and soda. Do you best to help him lose the extra weight so that he can be a healthy child and lead a healthy lifestyle.
Why are Children Overweight?
Before you can begin helping a child or many children lose weight, it's important to know and understand why children are gaining so much extra weight. When you know what is causing it, it will make correcting and maintaining a healthy weight much easier.
- Portion sizes- School lunches, restaurants, and at home portions have slowly increased over the years.
- Menu choices- Whether at school or at a restaurant, the choices are much more varied, so children will pick something, which may not be the healthiest option.
- Food everywhere- there aren't many places that don't have a vending machine or some kind of store or option to get a quick snack.
- Soda- Coke, Pepsi, Root Beer, Dr. Pepper are all popular soft drinks that most children have readily available. They like them, so mom or dad buys it. Why not have a juice or water once in a while?
- Snacks and junk food- Moms frequently have that bag of cookies or a bag of M&Ms in their purse to keep the little one quiet. Replace the fatty foods for vegetables and fruits. There are additives and chemicals in the junk foods that make people- adults and children crave more of that particular food.
- Fast food- It's easy and quick to pick up on the way home, but it's so much more fattening.
- Parents- In a lot of cases, the parents are to blame because they're not setting a good example.
- No exercise- Kids used to go outside and play all the time. Walk to school. Ride bikes. Play sports. Now, children sit on the couch and watch TV or play video games.
There are other factors that can cause children to gain weight that adults can change in order to keep them healthy, but there are some cases in which some children are just predisposed to being overweight. In some cases, it's hereditary or there's another condition or medication causing the weight gain, and these cases are a little different, but it's still best to make sure to maintain a healthy diet with plenty of exercise to help improve the odds of weight loss.
Help Children Lose Weight
You don't want adults or children to lose weight rapidly. The best thing to do is to set goals and lose the weight naturally. There isn't a magic pill you can sneak into your child's juice, so you will need to work at it. The best thing is to make a goal for yourself, as well as your child. You can't expect your child to do something that you and the rest of the family aren't doing too.
This will be something that will be long-term, so don't expect overnight improvement. It will take exercise and a healthy, balanced diet.
You just want to be careful how you go about putting your child on a diet. Children should not be made to feel guilty, different, or victimized because of their weight. In a lot of cases, you can go about weight loss without the child ever realizing what you're doing- make smaller portions, healthier meals, cute out the junk food in the pantry, and include more outdoor activities into the schedule. You don't have to ever tell a child, "you can't eat that cookie because you're on a diet because you're fat."
You don't want young children to grow up worrying themselves into growing into teenagers with eating disorders. If you can alter eating and exercise habits and stick with them, the likelihood of the child maintaining those habits are much better.
Tips to help maintain healthy eating habits for children:
- Don't ban junk foods, as you'll probably create rebellious children who will overeat those same foods. Try monitoring how many cookies and how often, instead.
- Slowly reduce portion sizes, but make sure to have a larger portion of green, orange, or red vegetables on the plates. The starches and proteins should be the smaller portion.
- Add more dietary fiber, or roughage, to the diet. Fiber is thought to help reduce reduce the visceral fat from piling onto the body.
- If your child wants seconds, add more vegetables on the plate and fewer breads and meats. You want your child to eat more healthy foods than non-healthy.
- Listen to your child's appetite. Some days children only want a little and some day's you can offer enough to fill them. Don't force the child to eat the same large portion one day just because the previous day, he wanted 3 helpings.
- Reduce the amount of fast food that you bring home for dinner. Fast foods may be quick to put on the table, but they're packed in calories and fat.
- Cut out fried foods, and try to do more baking and grilling. The grease and batter can really add calories to a plate.
- Try adding more chicken, turkey, and fish to dinners and lunches, and reducing the number of times a week you have red meat or pork.
- If your child wants a snack, instead of offering chips and cookies, give him a plate of fresh vegetables and a dipping sauce or fruits and yogurt. There are many healthy options that you can choose when it comes to snacks; just be careful about banning junk foods. Limiting is definitely the key- 5 cookies instead of 10.
- Stop buying soda. Purchase water and fresh juice instead. The additives and chemicals in soda, even diet sodas contain artificial sweeteners, which can actually hinder dieting and weight loss.
- Use soda, cookies, candy,
chips, and other fatty snacks as treats to reward good behavior. If
your child made the honor role, make it a pizza night for the family.
Eating habits aren't going to be the end all be all to losing weight, you should also change the child's activities. You want to reduce the time that the child is allowed to watch TV or play video games. Children need to be outside playing, running around, riding bikes, swimming, playing sports, etc. There are tons of outside activities; find something that you and your child can do together and enjoy.
This is a natural supplement for children that is 100% safe and natural. JuniorSlim is an herbal remedy that is not addictive, and has been formulated for children and pre-teens by experts.The produce does not contain any stimulants or chemicals to force weight loss in the product.
This is not a magic supplement. You will still need to focus on a healthy diet, smaller portions, less junk food and soda, and more exercise.
The product helps to support:
- A healthy metabolism
- Normal growth and development
- A healthy digestive system by maintaining breakdown of fats
- Sugar levels to control cravings
- Energy levels
JuniorSlim helps to encourage weight loss goals and maintaining optimum weight without using artificial stimulants or the herb ephedra.
There are no harmful side effects of using JuniorSlim. The product will not affect normal growth, and will actually help to address the emotional and physiological causes of overeating.
You can use JuniorSlim in children between the ages of 3 and 12. Just add 1 drop per age year in about 1/4 glass of water or juice two to three times a day before meals.
The ingredients of the product includes Fennel, Peppermint, Dandelion, Astragalus, Licorice, Wood betony, and Lemon balm.
Healthy Diets for Children
- Diet for Children with a Peanut Allergy
- Soy Allergy Diet for Babies
- Healthy Vegetarian Children
- Raise Healthy Children on a Vegetarian Diet
- Special Diet to Relieve Asthma in Kids
- What is the Anti-Asthma Diet - How Does it Affect Kids
- Ketogenic Diet for Kids with Seizures
- Gluten Free Diet for Kids with Autism
Disclaimer: Please be aware that the advice in this article should in no way replace that of a licensed physician. If you have any questions, please consult your child's pediatrician for tips on helping your child lose extra weight and maintain a healthy weight.
trsmith from Rapid City, SD on April 18, 2010:
It is true that portions have been gradually increasing over the years. Cutting out soft drinks is a great start and portion controll can be hard to get used to but we have implemented it in our mealtime and it has helped tremendously.
TJ Stephens from Burnsville, MN on March 10, 2010:
Good, healthy food seems like it's harder and harder to find. With two parents working, it's no wonder this country is having an overweight child crisis. In my day, one of the parent's stayed home and took care of the kids - they watched what they ate. With all this frozen junk in the supermarkets, it's too easy to feed kids junk when you have to work all day. I think there should be a "sugar and fat" tax. The higher the sugar and / or fat content, the more taxes you should pay. After all, those of us that eat well and pay taxes will be the ones paying for the medicaid program that will pay for the 500 pound person to stay home in bed all day. Sorry for jumping on my soapbox.
JenDobson27 on March 10, 2010:
Child obesity is a major problem. I think in a lot of cases parents are absolutely the ones to blame. When parents don't set a good example for their children the children end up over weight, inactive, and have health problems.
drbj and sherry from south Florida on March 09, 2010:
Sad but true, Whitney. That overweight child in the last photo will surely become an obese adult unless his parents or guardians immediately take steps to revise and supervise his diet.