The major causes of obesity in children are the same as for adults – a sedentary lifestyle, TV viewing, the snack and soda habit, and the popularity and availability of highly processed and concentrated foods. Many major medical centers are developing weight control programs for children that involve the whole family.
Proper eating and lifestyle habits are family affairs, especially needs the support of the family. Even when the rest of the family is not overweight everyone benefits from a healthier way of life.
Seven Secrets for Fat-proofing Your Child
Clinical psychologists and pediatricians feel that nearly all obesity in children could be prevented if children were taught the following sensible basic habits early, before they have free access to food and become addicted to TV:
- Three meals a day at regular times with lots of whole grains, legumes, fresh fruit, and vegetables.
- Control the cupboards – get rid of tempting junk foods. Offer fruit and fresh vegetables for snacks.
- Drink plenty of water. Limit sodas, juices, and other beverages.
- At least an hour of active exercise daily, preferably outdoors.
- Regular, quiet study and reading times to replace the hours spent watching TV.
- Plenty of rest. Many children are chronically tired. Put them to bed early enough so they awaken naturally, in time for a healthy breakfast.
A wide range of interest in library visits, music lessons, arts and crafts, family outings, etc.