CHILDHOOD OBESITY IS
OFF THE CHARTS
My son recently attended a grade school “Track Meet” at a Midwest suburban public school. His comment to me was, “I have never seen so many overweight little kids in my entire life!“. According to government stats (the CDC), one in four children in the 2-5 age group is overweight, while about one in three school aged children is overweight. These stats are much worse if you are a minority or if you live in the South, nor does it take into account the numerous children that are MONW. It all begs the question of what you should do as a parent to combat childhood obesity and help your child get to and maintain a healthy weight.
- REALIZE THAT YOUR CHILD’S WEIGHT IS YOUR RESPONSIBILITY: That’s right, your child’s weight is up to you. This might mean no more SCHOOL LUNCHES. It might also mean that you will actually have to revive your role as the parent and decide what your child will and won’t eat. I routinely get parents in my office make excuses for their children like this. “I realize what you are saying is true, but little Johnny simply hates vegetables“. Or, “little Johnny won’t eat anything other than chocolate cake and Cheetos” (HERE). Or here is one I heard the other day. “Little Johnny would not eat his lunch so I gave him cookies. He had to eat something didn’t he?“. Take a deep breath and repeat to yourself. I am the parent and they are the child — I am the parent and they are the child. You will also have to……………
- TAKE RESPONSIBILITY FOR YOUR OWN WEIGHT: Have you ever gone to an overweight doctor? Or a doctor who smokes cigarettes? When SOMEONE IN AUTHORITY tells you to do as they say and not as they do, there is a huge loss of credibility. If you are overweight and trying to get your kids to eat healthy while constantly eating JUNK yourself, you have no credibility with your kids. As a parent, make sure you are leading from the front. Period. Leadership means that you must……..
- EDUCATE YOURSELF AND YOUR CHILDREN ABOUT HEALTH, DIET, AND EXERCISE: There is all sorts of advice on getting to and maintaining a healthy weight (HERE are some examples). It is up to you to educate yourself and then pass it along to your family (children included). The problem is that there is lots of conflicting advice out there. This is why I have simplified the process for you and given you some great links to follow. They are found in the paragraph below.
The first thing you need to do in order to lose weight and get healthier in the process is CONTROL YOUR BLOOD SUGAR — even if you have not (yet) been diagnosed with DIABETES. Fail to do this and you are wasting your time. Next, you need to take a look at some of the things I have written on this topic of OBESITY. The great thing is that working with children is easy compared to working with adults. In most cases, they have not had their problem long enough to set up the diseases of obesity.
Do not wait another day to get started on this project. Oh, and one more thing. If you think that feeding your child a steady diet of crap is OK because they are of a normal weight (or even underweight), you are sadly mistaken (HERE). Not only are you setting them up for a future of overweight / obesity, you are likely condemning them to a lifetime of CHRONIC INFLAMMATORY DISEASES as well AUTOIMMUNITY. As you can see, creating HEALTHY CHILDREN is not something that happens automatically without some effort on your part.