There is a steady movement in the country to eat natural healthier foods. People are embracing easy ways to add vegetables to their diet, and the good habits are starting to show in dropping childhood obesity rates. It’s exciting news, and you can keep the trend going in your own home.
Journal of the American Medical Association
The Journal published a study in December showing that childhood obesity rates actually peaked in 2003 and have been dropping since. In 2003, 15.21 percent of children aged two- to four-years old were obese. Another 2.22 percent were dangerously overweight. In 2010, 14.94 percent of children in this age range were obese, and only 2.07 percent of the children were extremely overweight.
The Dangers of being Overweight as a Child
Research has shown that children who are overweight are more likely to become overweight as adults. Carrying extra pounds also puts additional stress on the body. It causes problems for your joints, increases the risk of diabetes and chronic problems like heart disease. Getting weight under control at an early age helps set the stage for healthy growth now and in the future.
The CDC and Low-Income Families
The study performed by the CDC focused heavily on low-income families. Eating healthy tends to be more expensive than eating prepared meals that are high in preservatives and low on nutrition. Low-income families are at higher risk for poor eating habits and obesity. The fact that the obesity levels are falling is good news for children across the country. It means that changes to diets and activity levels are working.
Help Your Child Lose Weight
If you have despaired because your own child is obese, there is hope. Even if money is tight and you don’t have the resources to make drastic dietary changes in the house, there are still ways to help your child lose weight. Use these tips to help your child lose some weight.
• Get up and get moving – Play with your kids. Take them out to play ball and encourage the family to go for a walk. You’ll spend time together and everyone will shed a few pounds.
• Bring in healthy snacks – Donuts and chips are easy snacks, and they will be eaten if they are in the house. Rather than purchasing sweetened cakes and treats, invest in bananas, apples and oranges.
• Make dinner a family affair at the table – Eating in front of the television is a way of life for many families. Unfortunately, it makes it easy to overindulge. Sit down at the table as a family to enjoy dinner. Not only will your children learn healthy eating habits, but you’ll get to reconnect as a family.
After more than a decade of watching childhood obesity rates climb, it’s encouraging to finally see them start dropping again. While the drop isn’t drastic, it’s still significant. It lets families know that they are making better choices and there is hope for a brighter future.