Childhood obesity is a major epidemic that affects children and adolescents. It is troubling because studies have found that the extra pounds increase a child’s risk of type 2 diabetes, asthma, metabolic syndrome, bone fractures, heart diseases, and sleeping issues. Aside from these, obese children are also bullied thereby resulting in depression, behavior problems, and poor self-esteem. Most of them even become obese adults once they get through the traumatic childhood. In this case, health issues can even turn fatal.
As parents, we should be aware of the real cause of why our children are obese.
Here are the possible reasons why your children are obese and how to deal with them.
Indoor Gaming/TV Addiction
At present, kids spent most of their time watching television and playing games in their cellphones and tablets. Due to these, the kids are stuck in the couch and some even eat more unhealthy stuff while doing their sedentary habits. All of this can lead to unhealthy weight gain.
As a parent, you should limit your kids’ screen time. Find games that would involve physical activities or introduce your children to a new activity such as biking.
School lunches have different high calorie and high-fat foods to choose from. Since kids need more energy, they would choose to have a big lunch of fried and processed foods.
As a parent, you should educate your children that the type of food they are eating can affect their health. It would also be better if you prepare lunch for them every single day and cut a tiny of their pocket money to refrain them from spending too much on snacks.
Bored children would just stick to the couch, eat more unhealthy snacks and play endless games.
As a parent, you should introduce them to different hobbies. Try to engage your children in any kind of activities or sports that would keep them occupied and active.
Stress And Depression
Stress, depression, and mood disorders are common issues among obese children. This can be due to the inability to fit at school, performance issues or peer pressure of any kind. In order to make them feel better, they tend to eat and eat. Doing this would help them manage their negative emotions.
As a parent, you should monitor your child’s behavior. Do not pressure them to perform well at school. If you feel that your kid is depressed, find ways and deal with the situation. Let them feel that you love them.
Some kids stay up late at night due to depression and mood disorders. Because of this, they tend to be midnight snacking which in the long-run can cause decreased insulin sensitivity and diabetes, a leading cause of obesity.
As a parent, help your child deal with issues that are causing stress and depression. Comfort them by playing soothing music or letting them do some mild exercises to help them have a good night sleep.
Working Parents Or A Single Parent
Usually, working parents or single parent don’t have enough time to focus on what kids eat. As they are multi-tasking all day, they would just simply eat pre-packaged foods or freeze meals for the entire week. Also, children are given more freedom on what they would do and eat the whole day and of course they would choose a tasty fried snack over some nutritious fruits.
Parents should know that the process of freezing foods can almost remove all the good nutrients from the foods they serve. Also, packaged meals tend to be energy and calorie dense.
You can hire a caretaker to keep an eye on your children to lower the chance that they would be eating something unhealthy. Finding time to cook would really be a great idea. Try to have at least an hour or two wherein you can prepare healthy food for the next day.