A Solution to Childhood Obesity

“It’s no coincidence that the same 2 decades that brought us soaring obesity rates also brought us cable TV, home computers and the proliferation of fast-food restaurants and the verb super – size.”

Childhood obesity is a growing epidemic in Canada. Recent research found that over 37 percent of children in the age range of two to eleven years old were overweight and 18 percent of the children in the same age group were obese . When the researchers make statement such as “ This generation of youth will not outlive their parents”. This should translated into the necessity for a call to action. As parents, it is our obligation to our children to ensure that they have the opportunity to long, healthy lives. How can we do that? I am so glad you ask?

We (the parents) are the solution to childhood obesity. If you have ever watched a child at play it is like watching mini-me(s) running around. Ever notice they will mimic the adult and our habits, unfortunately good or bad. Let’s give them some positive imagery and healthy habits to develop. This can be as easy as leading by example. By eating healthy ourselves and being a positive exercise role model, our children can identify with healthy habits. Take the time to explain healthy snack choices such as fruit and vegetables instead of their sugary counterparts, and why we require exercise to be healthy.

There is no time like the present, start them young. If you start good habits from the on-set we can prevent the development of weight concerns. It is easier to maintain a healthy weight then to try to lose weight later. It may not always be practical but try to involve your children in your family’s meal preparation, this gives your child a sense of authority and they may even inspire them to eat healthy on their own.

Make dinner and activity time a family event. By having meals together you will send the right message about nutrition. Kids will see their parents making healthy food choices laying the foundation for better choices in their future. Families that play together, stay together. Being active together allows the children to expend energy in a positive way, not to mention the health benefits for the parents too, including stress reduction.

Nancy Cook PTS, NWS, CSEP-CFC
Fitness Professional
Go Figure! Family Fun and Fitness
www.gofigurefitness.ca
participate@gofigurefitness.ca