Obesity affects millions of people of all ages, backgrounds, ethnicity, religions and races all over the world. Millions of children are affected by this epidemic and there are causes, preventative measures, education and take action plans in place in most states here in America. The recommendation for children between the ages of 6 to 17, moderate to intense aerobic activity with strength training for more than 1 hour a day for 3 days a week minimum. Schools can look at the ways to improve PE classes for student to promote exercise. Parents can look into community programs like walking with other families, public parks or playgrounds and ways to get the kids moving. The YMCA has many locations and great programs for the whole family.
I would not recommend a diet for any child for two main reasons, diets don’t work and diets were designed for short term goals. Becoming healthy is a lifestyle choice that is long term for optimum benefits. I would advise organic whole foods and healthy fats with a few snacks daily. The first point I would make about children’s activity levels today is that is very low because of all the available media. Children are spending too much time online, watching TV, playing videos games and lying around the house. Our bodies are not meant for this slothfulness, we are meant to be in motion. Families are very disconnected from each other and this teaches child’s lazy habits. I would recommend being outside playing, running, riding bikes, playing games, swimming, hiking or any other outdoor activity that interests the child. TV, video games, internet should be limited to 2 hours a day. I would encourage family members to make games out of chores, to help around the yard or the house. Children are more likely to be active if they have friends or siblings to play with, they will also help out the parents when it’s made to be a game. After school programs that involve sports of any kind would be a great place to start. I don’t think it’s healthy to schedule your kid for too many sports, it’s stressful and doesn’t give them time to be a kid. I would suggest a reward incentive for weight loss, set small reasonable goals and when you reach that goal you go see your favorite movie.
My suggestions for motivating kids would be:
- have weekly family relay races and obstacle course
- trampoline park
- walking the dog
- wilderness hikes
- taking the stairs instead of an elevator
- climb trees
- walk on the beach
- swimming at the local high school
- dancing to favorite music
- jumping rope