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A Look at Childhood Obesity

Written by Courteney

Posted on December 28, 2016 at 2:02 am

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Childhood obesity rates have been steadily climbing over the past few decades which bodes ill for the future health status of our children. Let’s take a look at some of the facts:

  1. From 1980 to 2012, the percentage of children under 12 who were obese rocketed from 7% to 18%.
  2. In 2013 over 42 million children in the world were obese.
  3. Approximately 70% of obese children already have one or more heart disease risk factors such as high cholesterol or blood pressure.
  4. Obese children are more prone to such health complications as joint problems, sleep conditions and psychological issues such as low self-esteem.
  5. Obese children are at greater risk of developing prediabetes or type 2 diabetes.
  6. The number of children with type 2 diabetes has risen 5% of all newly diagnosed cases in 1994 to approximately 20% of newly diagnosed cases today.
  7. Studies show that obese toddlers and children are more likely to be obese as adults
  8. Schools can help reduce the rates of childhood obesity by implementing policies like mandatory fitness classes, health lessons that teach about the dangers of obesity as well as serving healthier lunches.

Tips for Parents to Help Curb Childhood Obesity

While schools can help prevent or reduce childhood obesity, parents can have the most influence. Here are some tips for parents to help their child maintain a healthy weight:

  1. Make steps toward a healthy diet for your whole family – try to cut out or drastically reduce intake of high fat snacks like chips, bars and cookies, and stock up on fruits and veggies. Also try to introduce more healthy protein like meat, beans and whole grains, limit sodium, reduce portion sizes and encourage everyone to drink more water.
  2. Use substitutions to make favorite family dishes healthier.
  3. Promote physical activity by exercising as a family.
  4. Encourage your children to participate in extra curricular sports like karate or tennis.
  5. Send your children outside to play with friends – children should get approximately an hour of physical activity daily.
  6. Set a technology time limit for your family – there is a strong link between too much screen time and childhood obesity.

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