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Childhood Obesity

post #1 of 6
Thread Starter 

What are you doing to make sure your child grows up healthy and maintains their healthy habits? Saw this post about ways to eliminate childhood obesity. Have to say, I agree with most of them. Not sure if it will ever completely be eliminated but there are some good tips. 

 

http://blog.naturalhealthyconcepts.com/2013/09/19/11-ways-to-eliminate-childhood-obesity/

post #2 of 6

This really is a subject near to my heart, As a mother, pediatric nurse and one time "fat kid". I was a small under weight child until I was 11 and then in 18mos I gained 100lbs and spent my early teens very overweight. I did eventually as a late teen go to a normal weight for my height but whatever natural slimness I ever had is gone, gone, gone.

 

For my own children we talk about nutrition, we talk about how food can be enjoyable but is not a place to bury emotions. We talk about what foods do for our body. We involve our kids with cooking, taking care of our chickens, helping with our local food co-op. We also keep them active. Sports, walking, family activities that don't always revolve around a meal.

post #3 of 6
Thread Starter 

I like what you wrote about activities "not revolving around a meal." Hard to do sometimes. Thanks for sharing! 

post #4 of 6

We should be putting pressure on our public schools to keep recesses. Many schools are shortening them or cutting them out altogether, and I think that is awful and definitely a contributing factor to childhood obesity. 

 

I think in general just being outside a lot is good and promotes activity. It doesn't even have to be super structured, just not sitting in front of the tv. Kids are kept inside so much more now than when I was growing up - if it's nice out (or even not so nice!) they should be doing some outdoor play pretty much daily.

 

That article has some useful ideas but I think it is putting too much responsibility onto individual parents instead of the social structures causing the problems - reductions in recess (thanks No Child Left Behind), the fact that many low-income families live in food deserts, don't have a yard to play in or any parks nearby, that people are afraid to let their kids play outside (as much afraid of CPS being called as from any actual danger), the fact that trash food is heavily subsidized, and school lunches are crap (which means we need to put a lot of pressure on schools to improve them instead of just sending our own child with healthier lunches). 

post #5 of 6
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Oread View Post
 

We should be putting pressure on our public schools to keep recesses. Many schools are shortening them or cutting them out altogether, and I think that is awful and definitely a contributing factor to childhood obesity. 

 

I think in general just being outside a lot is good and promotes activity. It doesn't even have to be super structured, just not sitting in front of the tv. Kids are kept inside so much more now than when I was growing up - if it's nice out (or even not so nice!) they should be doing some outdoor play pretty much daily.

 

That article has some useful ideas but I think it is putting too much responsibility onto individual parents instead of the social structures causing the problems - reductions in recess (thanks No Child Left Behind), the fact that many low-income families live in food deserts, don't have a yard to play in or any parks nearby, that people are afraid to let their kids play outside (as much afraid of CPS being called as from any actual danger), the fact that trash food is heavily subsidized, and school lunches are crap (which means we need to put a lot of pressure on schools to improve them instead of just sending our own child with healthier lunches). 

 

I agree and disagree. Recesses definitely need to be kept for health reasons and for the sanity of teachers/students. I also think that physical education needs to be promoted and not dropped. It's another great way for kids to get activity in during their day. Personally I do think it's the parents responsibility to teach their children healthy habits. I agree that there are situations where parents are disadvantaged but there are still plenty of active things parents and children can do in their house besides sitting in front of a screen. I definitely think there can be improvements to the school lunch system yes, but ultimately I think the responsibility falls on the parents. Parents need to lead by example. If a child has recess and a healthy lunch at school but parents who take them for fast food dinner every night they are no healthier. Yes there is some responsibility on the schools but in my opinion it is the parents responsibility to make sure their child receives proper nutrition, learns healthy habits and gets enough activity throughout the day. Some neighborhoods/cities/economic situations make that easier than others but where there's a will there's a way. 

 

I'd also like to see subsidized food programs and food stamps not cover junk food and only cover healthy foods. It blows my mind how in some states people can use food stamps to buy chips and mountain dew. I'm not saying I'm against food assistance but I think if tax payers are going to be paying for other people's food that they shouldn't have the option of buying all junk food. 

post #6 of 6

I think the biggest problem leading to childhood obesity is a combination of sugar and a lot of snacking. Juice, snacks and foods targeted at children are always sweet and contain extra sugar.

 

This is also probably not going to be a very popular opinion but the snacks are out of control. Children seems to be always eating or drinking something.  Whenever we are around other kids, there's always snacks to be had which annoys me so much that I limit afternoon outtings with other kids to at most twice a week. Those days she grazes from whatever the other kids are eating and does not eat well at dinner. 

I almost never carry snacks for DD. I expect her to wait between her meals and afternoon snack. IMHO, children should go a bit hungry between meals, first to recognize what hunger feels like, and then to develop a bit of tolerance for it. Besides a hungry child will eat much better at dinner time. And we never force her to finish her plate. If she says I'm full, that's it.

 

As to exercise, cut out the entertainment for small children. They don't need to entertained. They will get up and start playing/moving without the need to be nudged about it. I play with DD but I let her guide me. We have no TV and she has very little access to "entertainment". I sit with her when she wants to play and LET HER direct the play. Within 10 minutes she's absorbed and can go on playing by herself for an hour or so. 

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