Video games and online video streaming services may not directly cause childhood obesity, but they do go hand-in-hand with bad eating habits. And parents must take an active role if their children are to live longer, healthy lives.
“Childhood obesity raises the risk of a long list of health issues,” says McLeod Pediatrician Dr. Jude Thomas. “The potential problems include bone/joint problems, asthma and Type 2 diabetes, which can lead to heart disease and kidney problems. Should the obesity follow them into adulthood, the risk increases for many types of cancer.
Two guidelines to follow when dealing with an overweight child:
Prevention or dealing with an obese child falls in two primary categories.
Too much time in front of television and computer takes its toll. The average American youth watches TV 24 hours a week, not counting computer time. Parents should set a daily time limit, such as 1 or 2 hours of “screen time.”
Outdoor exercise or organized sports help burn calories and build muscles. Engage family members in nature walks, swimming, bike rides, soccer or other backyard sports.
Make sure to include vegetables, fruits and whole grains are in their meals, along with lean meat, low-fat dairy products, lots of water and only limited sugar-sweetened beverages.
Think “moderation” in all things. In other words, Portion Control. The CDC offers these tips to avoid “Portion Size Pitfalls”:
ACTION YOU CAN TAKE
If you’re worried about your child’s weight, try some of the tips here and see a pediatrician to determine if problems — other than a sedentary life and bad diet — are to blame.
Sources include: McLeod Health, US Centers for Disease Control & Prevention, ABC News, New York State Department of Health, America