Prevention Of Childhood Obesity
Childhood obesity is a major issue in countries all around the world, but none is so bad as the UNited States of America. In today’s society, children are raised to believe that everything should be quick, instant and available to them whenever they want it. Fast food chains make billions of dollars a year on Happy Meals and Kid’s Meals, which feature a cheaply made toy to draw children in. Rather than taking the time to cut up an apple or offer a piece of fruit, many parents find it easier to just stop at a Burger King or Wendy’s to grab dinner and go. Much of this rushing around has to do with society’s expectations of the modern working parent. Expected to wake in the morning and work all day and then care for children afterwards, parents are tired and have no time or energy to focus on long-term health. Many parents leave their children for 18 hour days while they commute out of town for work. This does not leave much time to prepare healthy dinners for their children.
However, there are some simple steps that parents can take to help in the fight against childhood obesity and helping to create a healthier lifestyle for their children.
- Buy fruit at the grocer rather than quick junk foods - Skip the trip down the frozen and prepared foods aisles at the grocery store and instead, traips the produce section for fruit and vegetables. Children enjoy the bright colors of apples and oranges and studies show that if a bowl of brightly colored fruit is placed in an openly seen spot, children will become hungry and want the fruit. They will specifically gravitate toward it because they can see it. Another effect of the fast food society that we currently live in.
- Rather than stopping at Burger King or McDonald’s for dinner, try a salad bar or even a deli. Cold cut sandwiches are very nutritious and if you skip the fatty mayonnaise and oils, they can be very healthy as well. A sub sandwich is very filling and can be a complete meal for adults and children as well.
- Skip the soda and sugary juices. Instead of buying carbonated, sugary beverages, try buying flavored waters or sports drinks with electrolytes. Many children enjoy adding their own flavors to waters making Crystal Light packets and Mio flavors a viable option. Fruit infused water is also becoming very popular and it is beautiful to look at as well.
- Get outside! Play with your children. Kick a ball or go to the park, hikes and long walks are not only good for the body, but good for the soul. Too many children spend too much time sitting on videogames and computers. Medical professionals say that children, no matter the age, should get at least 90 minutes of outside or physical activity per day.
Childhood obesity has become an epidemic in the United States and other countries around the world, but it does not take the entire world to make a difference. Change starts with one.