Are you familiar with the topic of childhood obesity? Obesity in children has become a global epidemic throughout the years. Childhood obesity and overweight are on the rise in countries all over the world.
Premature deaths, type 2 diabetes, high cholesterol, high blood pressure, joint aches, respiratory issues, nonalcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD), cardiovascular disease, stroke, hyperlipidemia, and even hypertension are all linked to childhood obesity.
Therefore, childhood obesity is a serious issue that should not be overlooked. Because of their lack of physical activity, our youngsters are at a serious risk especially at this tough time.
Children spend more time on screens, such as video games, movies, and even online learning via smart phones and laptops, while getting less exercise. This might lead to childhood obesity, which exposes our children to a variety of physical and mental health problems.
Who is responsible for preventing childhood obesity and who has the authority to do so? Many parties, including authorities, the media, and businesses, are directly and indirectly accountable.
The value of parents in preventing childhood obesity, on the other hand, cannot be overstated. In order to affect a child’s behavior and manage childhood obesity, parents are the most potent actors. As a result, I’ll explore the reasons for obesity in this post, as well as what we can do as parents to keep our children from being obese.
There are a variety of factors that causes childhood obesity.
Obesity in children has several reasons. A combination of many biological variables such as parental genetic and hormonal factors, as well as behavioral factors, such as insufficient physical exercise and consuming too many calories through food can cause obesity.
If both parents are overweight, for example, the likelihood of the child being overweight is considerable. Furthermore, if a woman has gestational diabetes mellitus while pregnant, the infant is more likely to be obese due to increased fat deposition from the mother to the baby.
However, the most unpleasant scenario is when children get obese as a result of circumstances that are more under the control of parents, which I will focus on further in this piece. One of the primary reasons is that parents are unaware of the importance of good food and lifestyle. So, what can we do at home to keep our kids from being obese?
Physical exercises that can be done at home.
Sedentary behavior is more common among today’s children, and they spend more time watching television. In comparison to before the pandemic, the Covid-19 epidemic has caused individuals to modify their lives and encouraged youngsters to engage in more sedentary behavior.
Children are not allowed to use playgrounds, play areas, or gyms during the lockdowns. During this time, children who are obese or overweight are at a greater risk. Is it, then, impossible to participate in physical activity during this period?
No, not at all, is my response. You and your children can engage in home-based physical activities. Have you tried hopping, skipping, leaping, single-leg stance and ball skills, crab walk, and bear walk at home? They may appear basic, yet they provide sufficient physical exercise for your children to preserve their health. You can always come up with new physical exercises to do at home. Parents can play a crucial role in developing home-based physical activity.
Physical activities are physical movement involving skeletal muscles that demands the expenditure of energy. It encompasses not just workouts but also other physical activities that can be incorporated into play, work, active transportation, housework, and leisure activities.
According to Australia’s Physical Activity and Sedentary Behaviour Guidelines, infants under the age of one should play for 5-15 minutes each day, and children aged 1 to 5 should participate in high-impact activities for at least three hours per day. Children from 5 to 12 years and 13 to 17 years are required to be active for at least 60 minutes per day on at least three days per week. Family is the child’s closest unit, and it has a huge impact on their physical and mental development. Researchers claim that home-based intervention programs are the most effective way to manage a child’s obesity-related health habits. Obese children’s BMI was found to be reduced more effectively using home-based methods.
These home-based intervention programs have a substantial impact on lowering blood pressure, increasing quality of life, and eating behaviors in obese or overweight children, as well as reducing screen time and harmful consuming patterns. As a result, specialists strongly advise parents to engage their children in home-based physical activities.
So, what exactly are these physical activities that may be done at home?
Housework, household tasks, gardening, and exercise with YouTube instruction (aerobics / Zumba) are just a few examples.
Furthermore, children can be encouraged to engage in activities such as playing with their siblings, jogging or running about the home, skipping with a rope, painting, Yoga, developing little family games, dancing, and even cooking. You may create family games with a winner so that youngsters are more excited and encouraged to participate in these activities.
For instance, passing the ball in a circle without dropping it and walking up and down a stairwell or skipping for 10 minutes.
You have complete control over how the games are designed, as well as the rules and time constraints.
To sustain children’s interest in engaging in activities, introduce a range of activities and vary them regularly. Also, bear in mind that while playing these games, ensuring the safety of youngsters is paramount.
If you have any experience in sports or exercise, you may incorporate activities such as jumping jacks, squats, push-ups, planks, and lifting tiny weights using water-filled or sand-filled bottles. However, in order to teach these sorts of activities to children, the parent must have a thorough understanding of how to move properly in order to avoid injuries. Otherwise, you should avoid doing such workouts.
On the other hand, you may discover yoga and fitness routines tailored particularly for children on the internet. In the meanwhile, physical activities will not be sufficient to keep your children healthy. It is also essential to eat healthily.
Consuming a nutritious diet.
Are you concerned about maintaining a healthy diet? We all require food to supply nutrients to our bodies, which provide us with energy for physical activity, development, and repair, as well as optimal bodily functioning and immune system strength.
However, a person’s calorie need varies depending on their weight, height, age, gender, and amount of physical activity. The balance of the calories is stored as fat once your body has utilized the number of calories required to create energy. As a result, eating more calories than your body burns is the primary reason for becoming overweight or obese.
It’s essential to recognize high-calorie foods and prevent or limit their intake.
As parents, it is your duty to help your family adopt a healthy diet routine. Fast eating, junk food, excessive amounts of sugary sweets, and sweetened drinks with high sugar content should all be avoided by youngsters. Instead, promote the consumption of more protein-rich foods such as vegetables, fruits, whole grain products, lean meats, poultry, fish, lentils, and beans.
Furthermore, little modifications to some of the most frequent home routines will be highly beneficial in preventing our children from being overweight and obese. Avoid eating meals while watching TV, for example. During meals, turn off the television, computer, and cell phone. This might also strengthen family bonds.
Additionally, minimize dinner outs and eating from the outdoors. And also minimize the consumption of greasy snacks in between meals or during tea time. In the meanwhile, youngsters require enough and healthy sleep. Encourage children to develop good sleeping habits by teaching them to go to bed and wake up at the same time every day, including on weekends.
Before going to bed, turn off any smart gadgets. You might also educate children to engage in religious activities before night, such as mindfulness exercises or prayer, to make bedtime more peaceful and relaxing.
Have you considered the beneficial impact you may have on your children’s physical and psychological health by making little lifestyle changes? If not, now is the time to seriously consider it. Let’s start doing some physical exercises with our kids at home right now. Help prevent and control childhood obesity by instilling a healthy lifestyle in your family.
Let us know your opinions in the comments section below.