5 Things You Should Know about Childhood Obesity
Childhood obesity is becoming an epidemic in the US. Each year, more and more children are crossing the line from “a little pudgy” to obese, making them more susceptible to a wide variety of ailments that children rarely ever got in the past. As adults, it is our responsibility to keep our children trim and healthy, even if it means saying no to them from time to time. The following are some things not every parent knows about childhood obesity.
Children are Too Sedentary
Generally, very active people of any age group are not prone to obesity. For the very active, fairly large meals are okay because they burn off the calories and they get plenty of valuable nutrients. Unfortunately, sedentary people tend to merely accumulate calories, which turn into fat. Every calorie above what your child needs contributes to gaining weight, and without regular exercise that weight keeps growing. As time goes on, moving around becomes more difficult, and physical activity seems even more pointless. Depression sets in, and by their teen years your child could be humongous and in mortal danger.
Fast Food Contributes Heavily
Fast food has done as much for obesity as cigarettes have done for lung cancer. Naturally, the deep frying process leeches out nutrients while packing saturated and trans fats onto otherwise good food. What many people do not know is that fast food is imbued with chemicals which are actually designed to cause an addiction, meaning your child could be an obese food addict before they hit double digits. The best way to break an addiction is to never start it in the first place.
Obesity Leads to Immediate Health Problems
The youngest heart attack victim on record was 13 years old. However, less dramatic problems include breathing difficulties and Type II diabetes, which can require a lifetime of medication and cause horrible side effects that never stop.
Obesity Dramatically Shortens Their Lives
The longer a person is obese, the shorter they will live. For a person who is more than 100 pounds overweight, known as being morbidly obese, living half as long as a person of average weight is considered an accomplishment. When obesity starts in childhood, that figure goes down even further. Your children may not be thinking about their futures, but you would be wise to do so.
They Get it From You, But Not Genetically
Habits begin in childhood, and your kids get many of their habits from watching how you live. You need to set a good example for your kids, and that means living a healthy life. If you don’t exercise, start. If you don’t eat well or have no portion control, rein it in. Your children, and one day your grandchildren, will thank you.
It’s a sad state of affairs when children become obese. Unfortunately, it happens nowadays. The good news is that parents who care can stop it from happening.
About the Author: Ali Vanhyning is a children’s health advocate who studies trends in obesity. She also researches women’s health issues and highly recommends yeastinfectiontreatment.org to any woman who needs more information about this common condition and how it can impact weight gain.