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What Parents Need to Know About Childhood Obesity

Updated on June 8, 2021
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Sheila is a kids' author who learned heaps as a wellness coordinator. She loves to share healthy tidbits with her readers.

As Children's Waistline Expand, So Does the Threat of Illness

The long-term effects of childhood obesity are staggering! Childhood obesity is prevalent, affecting about 35% of our youth in America and the numbers are rising.

By age three, children have fatty deposits in their arteries. This is of paramount concern! The lifespan of these overweight children is radically shortened. They are susceptible to degenerative disease, missed school days, metabolic syndrome, Type 2 diabetes, or worst yet cancer.

As a child s waistline expands, so does the epidemic of metabolic syndrome. Metabolic syndrome’s risk factors rise sharply when a child has extra weight on the waist, looking sort of apple-shaped. They are highly likely to suffer from insulin deficiency. This is when their small pancreas cannot properly make insulin effectively in order to control the amount of sugar in the cells. This can create Type 1 diabetes. It's estimated that nearly one of every four American adults are insulin resistant stemming from childhood obesity. These children who turn into adults are on a serious track to developing diabetes.

Type 2 diabetes occurs when cells become resistant to accepting the insulin produced by the pancreas. This raises blood sugar which is dangerous and at times life threatening. If you're one of them, your risk triples for heart disease down the road as well.

Fast Food Restaurants Serve Fried Dishes That Cause Obesity.
Fast Food Restaurants Serve Fried Dishes That Cause Obesity. | Source

The U.S Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has determined, "One in three children born in the U.S in the year 2000 is predicted to develop Type 2 diabetes."

We Conclude Plump Children Become Tubby Adults

Once a child is overly stout their fat cells multiply and become part of their biochemistry as they grow. On reaching adulthood it becomes extremely difficult to trim down and build lean muscle mass since their obese cells won’t disappear. They turn flabby as the weight comes off and this poses a grave dilemma for the status of their health.

American children are obese mostly due to a lack of knowledge, a lack of exercise, and consumption of food devoid of nutrients. An unfortunate number are overweight due to a heartbreaking unpredictable health condition derived from birth.

The Standard American Diet (SAD) Leads to Obesity

An obese child bears the consequences of their gluttony. If it’s their eating habits and not an innate health circumstance that caused it; they'll still suffer by being made fun of with missed school days, and low energy. Slow learning develops and they turn out to be a candidate for a timely on start of degenerative diseases, such as heart ailments, cancer, bowel disorders, high blood pressure with high cholesterol, and an early inception of diabetes.

Sitting at a dinner table with parents sets the stage for healthier eating.
Sitting at a dinner table with parents sets the stage for healthier eating.

What Parent's Can Do to Help Their Obese Children?

The excellent news is a number of strategic strategies can take hold to slow the progression of these illnesses in children. Educated and concerned parents can have a positive influence on their kids in helping them understand the consequences of their poor dietary habits with a lack of outdoor play.

Children are resilient and impressionable, always wanting to do their best. Given the opportunity, every child loves to play a sport and compete for prizes. All it takes is a caring and concerned parent to change the ill fate facing their obese child.

It is crucial for parents to start as early as possible in order to ingrain in their children, the knowledge of helping them make healthier food choices. Children must acquire a desire for nutritious wholesome food. This is an effortless task as long as parents deliver the message in a genuine, loving, calm manner, and are not judgmental.

Parents Could Try the Following to Help Their Kids

Opt Not to Keep Junk Food in Your Home

Decide not to purchase or keep foods in your house that are devoid of nutrients like fried chips, Pop Tarts, breakfast cereals like Fruit Loops and junk food. Prepackaged foods containing high-fructose corn syrup and hydrogenated oil are the worst.

Next, it’s the sugary cereals, cookies, and soda, followed by white bread that contains yeast. If these fat causing foods are not in the cupboard, your children will choose to eat the healthier foods stored in your refrigerator.

  • Substitute, hearty low sugar desserts instead of buying the prepackaged ones that contain preservatives and food coloring. You can always include healthier sugars in your delicious desserts or flour cakes you bake that are tasty such as natural maple syrup, organic honey, and organic sugar to satisfy their sweet tooth or a natural sugar substitute such as Stevia if they’re already diabetic.
  • It’s best to serve your children with a blend of homemade juice smoothies made from actual fruit instead of prepackaged fruit juices. This will guarantee your kids’ are getting a healthy dose of the required daily vitamins and minerals without additives or preservatives and corn syrup.

Realize the need for dietary fat decreases as children get older and so do their caloric consumption partly due to a slowing down of their metabolism as they become adults.

A cake and milk shake is not the answer to a healthier way of eating.
A cake and milk shake is not the answer to a healthier way of eating.

Change Your Child's Taste Buds with Healthy Whole Foods

Compel your children to acquire a taste for fresh vegetables and fruit to promote their health. Serve vegetables at the dinner table and make invigorated vegetable juices for a nutritious drink in the afternoon. You’ll notice their thinking becoming clearer and they’ll slim down gradually. They will also perform better in school and have more energy to play outdoors.

  • Young brains crave sugar when there is a lack of nutrients in the bloodstream. Glucose is the brain's chosen fuel. So, serve fruit that contains fiber to nourish them.
  • Encourage your children to drink plenty of water throughout the day; half of their body weight in ounces. If your child weighs 75 pounds or more have them drink approximate a little over a quart of water daily.

A child’s brain is about eighty percent water. Often when an overweight child is hungry, it's frequently because their brain is craving water. They don’t realize this and head for a sugary snack instead. This pattern is easily broken once they become nutritionally healthier from eating better foods.

  • Give your children lean cuts of meat with minimally processed vegetables, and a complex carbohydrate to eat for lunch or dinner. Make sure your children eat a healthy meal three times a day with a few small snacks in between like an apple or carrot. You’ll notice their demeanor becoming calmer and better able to concentrate on homework. You won't have a hyper child bouncing around from eating sugary snacks and foods devoid of vitamins.
  • Supplement your child's diet with organic whole foods that provide the nutrition of fruits and vegetables, such as apples, broccoli, kale, parsley, and beets.

The repertoire of advice given here should give you a head start in helping to combat the long-term effects of your child’s obesity and possibly reverse the onset of sickness and disease. Don’t ever lose hope or give up on your precious children. They desperately need your smarts and guidance to eating healthy.

Are any of your children overweight and suffering with diabetes?

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© 2010 Sheila Craan


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