Overweight and obesity are an increasingly important problem in developed countries. A person is considered overweight or obese if they weigh more than is considered healthy for their height.
Most cases of obesity occur from eating more calories than is expended. Calories are the energy that food gives us. Activity consumes calories. A balanced meal provides the body with the energy and nutrients it needs. If you eat more calories than your body needs, you gain weight. To lose weight, you need to eat fewer calories and lead a more active life.
Childhood obesity: an epidemic
Being overweight is severe and can affect your child’s health now and in the future. Overweight children are more likely to be overweight adults.
Children who are overweight or obese weigh more than is considered healthy for their height and physique.
Just because your child has put on some weight does not mean that he or she is obese. Children are not considered obese as long as their weight is not 10% above what is recommended for their height and physique. You should ask your doctor how much your child should weigh.
Some reasons for being overweight can be:
- Bad eating habits or overeating.
- Lack of sufficient physical activity.
- Family history of weight gain or obesity.
- Diseases and medications.
- Stressful events (such as divorce, death.).
- Low self-esteem or depression.
What are the risks of obesity?
It is observed that an obese child is more likely to be obese as an adult. In addition, an obese child is at risk for:
- Heart disease.
- High blood pressure.
- Respiratory problems.
- Trouble sleeping
How can you help your child lose weight or stay at a healthy weight?
Prepare meals and snacks with less fat content.
Cut down on fried foods. Offer boiled, baked, or grilled fish, chicken, or turkey without skin. Cook lean beef or pork; trim the fat. Use fat-free or low-fat milk or cheese. Use olive oil for cooking.
Give your child at least five servings of fruit and vegetables a day.
Cut down on chips, cookies, candy, soda, and other foods high in fat or sugar. Replace them with fruits, vegetables, or low-fat yogurt.
Try offering different foods.
Sometimes new food needs to be offered ten times or more for a child to incorporate it. Make sure your child eats a variety of the following food groups:
- Grains: bread, pasta, cereals, rice. Choose whole-grain bread and cereals.
- Low-fat or skimmed dairy.
- Meat, legumes, fish, and nuts.
Try renewing your family’s favorite dishes. You can cook in the oven instead of frying. Try to limit take-out meals, fast food, and frozen prepared foods. Prepare healthy meals with your child.
Serve smaller amounts
Practice healthy habits with your child. Read food labels with him when you shop. Serve smaller servings at meals. Your child can repeat if he is hungry. An Expert doctor can tell you how many servings from each food group your child should eat. It depends on how old you are.
Help your child to be physically active.
Children should get 1 hour of exercise a day, which can be spread throughout the day. Find activities that your child enjoys. Reduce the time your child spends watching television or playing video games.
Taking a family approach to beating obesity is essential. It’s the perfect time for the whole family to start eating healthy foods and getting more physical activity. Eat healthily and get more physical activity as a family.