Childhood obesity is a worldwide epidemic, and it has taken a firm hold in the UK. In 2006, childhood obesity rates stood at 2.4 percent. However, the rate has gone up to an alarming 20 percent. You’ll need to keep a close eye on your children to keep them healthy, and a little training as a health coach will do wonders.
Diet and Nutrition
Unhealthy food has never been so available. Drinks and snacks are filled with sodium and sugar, which are designed to induce constant cravings. Make sure your kids eat at home because once they leave school, they’ll most likely pass a fast food outlet or two. There are more than 30,000 fast food outlets in England within 400 meters of schools. Prepare their food yourself and try to use natural ingredients; processed food usually contains a lot of sodium. Try to add protein while reducing carbs and add a bit of fiber into heir diet. Don’t reward your kids with sweets and try to make healthy snacks every once in a while. Diet is the primary factor in obesity, and it is something that is learned. Dietary preferences are developed as children grow. The food you serve them regularly is the food they will eventually prefer as they grow up.
Lack of exercise is another factor boosting childhood obesity. The advent of cable TV, video games, tablets, and smartphones has changed the world’s view of entertainment and play. Children are more likely to stay inside rather than go out to play, leading to a more sedentary lifestyle. An abundance of calories and a lack of activity is a surefire recipe for obesity at any age. Encourage your kid to take a hobby or a sport. Team activities are especially effective, as social bonding, camaraderie, and competition motivate your kid to keep participating. Habits form at an early age. Get your kid to integrate physical activities into his/her lifestyle, and he/she will carry that until adulthood. Competition and team dynamics also build character, making your child both physically and emotionally fit.
Tearing your kids away from their screens (tablets, phones, television, and video games) can be impossible. These screens offer instant gratification, targeting the pleasure centers of the brain that releases endorphins. They are addictive and disruptive. Limit the time they can use their devices, especially at nighttime, when it can disturb their sleep. Shut off the WiFi if you must and keep off the screens as an example. If your kid must play video games, try to purchase the motion-related add-ons so your kids will be moving while they’re playing their games. Motion-controlled video games are no substitute for real sports or actual play, but it can be the start that gets your kid off his/her sedentary lifestyle.
Kids learn as they see. Practice what you preach and live a healthy and active lifestyle with your kids. A healthy childhood builds a foundation for a healthy life. Start early and give your kids a much-needed boost.