The Best Things You Can Do To Fight Childhood Obesity

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According to experts, over 60 percent of Americans are overweight, 31 percent are obese, and nearly 4 million weigh 300 pounds or more. It's obvious that Americans are literally “living large.”

This new found girth should surprise no one. Large portions of cheap food are just a drive-thru away. Most of our hobbies involve sitting in front of a video screen. And you'll be hard pressed to find a job that doesn't have us tethered to a desk and slaving away over a computer. As a society we eat poorly and exercise infrequently.

Sadly, this blubber-welcoming lifestyle is affecting our nation's children. Childhood obesity rates are on the rise and so are the diseases associated with them. Now more than ever, parents must actively watch their children's weight.

Parenting Fun 411 has compiled a list of the best things you can do to fight childhood obesity. These tips will help you teach your children the benefits of eating healthy and exercising.

Before proceeding, be aware that these tips are meant to combat the fat, not to cure it. If your child is morbidly obese you need to see a doctor. Our tips are still applicable but only after your child has sought professional help.

Be A Role Model - Your kids follow your lead. So you must set a good example. That means you need to eat healthy. You need to exercise. You need to eat multiple servings of vegetables a day. You need to get out from in front of the television. You must do all the things you want your kids to do. After all, if you want your children to fight off childhood obesity you must be fighting obesity too.

Don't Compare - Don't compare your kids to other kids. It's detrimental to both their present and future self esteem. You set up your children for a lifetime of measuring their self-worth by comparing it to others. Not all kids, even kids the same height, are meant to be the same shape and/or weight. Everyone is different. So do your kids a big favor and only compare them to themselves.

Moderation - Getting your kids to fight off childhood obesity doesn't mean they can never have a cookie or they can never play a video game. What it means is they need balance in their life. Instead of three cookies, they take one. Instead of spending all day playing video games, they play for an hour. Living healthy includes being happy and having fun, and sometimes that comes in the form of junk food and sedimentary activities.

No Diets, Food Choices - You generally don't want to put your kids on a diet. Instead you want to teach them about making smart food choices that will stay with them over the course of a lifetime. Teach them the importance of regular servings of fruits and vegetables and the difference between proteins and carbohydrates. Ultimately, you want them to know what they are putting into their bodies and you want them only eating when they're hungry.

Don't Reward Your Kids With Food - Rewarding your kids with food will cause them to not only eat every time they're happy but every time they're sad too. In fact, they will equate food with strong emotions and that's never good. You want your kids to eat only when they're hungry. Now, children inherently know that they should eat only when their hungry. However, they lose that ability because adults force them to do stuff like clean their plate or eat when they are already full.

Include Your Children In The Meal Process - Assuming they're of the proper age, and they have the inclination, include your children in the shopping and preparation of meals. Take them with you when you shop for produce. During your visits to grocery stores compare the labels of healthy foods to junk foods. If they enjoy it, have your kids assist you in preparing meals. That's a great way to get them excited about eating healthy.

Find Enjoyable Physical Activities - As any adult can attest too, doing exercises and jogging are boring. So to get your child off the couch find something they enjoy doing-something that gets their heart rate up and causes them to break a sweat. If your kid isn't into popular sports like soccer or basketball, find something else they like, maybe skateboarding or lacrosse. If that still doesn't work it's time to get creative. If your kid
is a big fan of video games like Halo and Call of Duty maybe they would like to try paintball. There's no excuse for your kid to be on the couch and inactive.

About the Author:

Ryan Hogan is a writer for a website that offers parents a big directory of fun parenting products and services. Also find a wealth of original and very useful information for parents and parents-to-be such as the top things you can do to fight childhood obesity: Copyright (c) 2010 Ryan Hogan

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