Obesity is a complex disease involving an excessive amount of body fat. Obesity isn’t just a cosmetic concern. It is a medical problem that increases your risk of other diseases and health problems, such as heart disease, diabetes, high blood pressure and certain cancers.
So why is this happening?
In its simplest form we know that weight gain occurs when we take in more energy (calories) from food and drink than we use up in our day-to-day activities. Obesity is a multi-factorial condition, which means that a combination of factors, including access to nutrient-poor foods and drinks, reduced activity and living in ‘obesogenic’ environments together cooked up a perfect storm. These factors are likely to have given the ideal conditions for the obesity epidemic to take hold.
Here are few common causes of obesity include:
Be a Good Model
As parents, we need to encourage the child or children to get active. It really doesn’t matter what activity it is they choose to do, whether indoor or outdoor (ideally outdoor), but they need to get at least 60 minutes of physical activity every day.
Start with Small Goal
Not all children want to get active, so start with small goals. It might just be walking together to the corner shop and back. That’s a good way to start small and remember to praise them afterwards. Next time, perhaps take a slightly longer route together or stop by the park on the way back, so you get your 60 minutes ticked off. Perhaps the walk will slowly turn into a little jog you will both enjoy! Working as a team is a brilliant way to motivate yourself and your child.
Everything in Moderation
We all love a bit of cake and fast food but equally, we all need a healthy, balanced diet.
Many of us might have fussy eaters in our homes and often kids want their own way, but introducing healthy snack alternatives are a good way to help your child’s health and diet. Try different healthy options until you find something they love and don’t give up!
Less Screen Time
For many parents in the digital age, battles over screen time and devices have become a depressing part of family life, and knowing how much is too much has become a moving target.
You know your child better than anyone and you’ll be the best judge of when they have had enough screen time, so break up the day by going outside for an hour or so.
The lessons we teach our children in their early years are the most important. Whether it be learning their manners, or how to share and socialise, or even just the benefits of drinking a glass of water instead of juice. These lessons matter. Parents that neglect to teach them are neglecting their responsibility to provide their children with the skills and knowledge to make choices leading to a healthy, happy life. So don’t order that takeaway, have a home cooked meal as a family instead. Go for a walk or a bike ride instead of sitting in front of the television. The lessons we teach our children today are the ones that will shape their tomorrow. I don’t want my children’s tomorrow to have padlocks on the fridge doors. Do you?