Obesity is not just an issue that targets adults. It affects about 14.4 million children and adolescents in the United States. Though this is dependent on their age, sex and height, a child may be deemed obese if their body mass index percentile is greater than 95%.
Unfortunately, the number of obese children has tripled since 1980. It is a growing epidemic that only gets worse if left untreated.
The eating habits developed throughout childhood can follow a person well into adulthood. Because there is such a market for sugary, high-fat foods that appeal to children, it can be difficult to monitor the correct serving size. Parents should help shape their children’s healthy eating habits by controlling the food available in the house. Providing vegetables, fruits and whole grains can limit the consumption of unhealthy snacks.
This is not to say your child can never eat ice cream or potato chips again. The key is to swap these items for ones that are higher in nutritional value. For example, instead of drinking a 12 ounce can of soda at dinner, offer a homemade lemonade with no added sugar. Another solution could be to swap chocolate or candy with yogurt-covered raisins or strawberries. Replacing the unhealthy cravings with lighter alternatives that can be eaten in moderation weens him or her off the need for sugar.
Many parents believe that their child’s weight will regulate itself once they reach adolescence and puberty. However, it requires more preventive action to fully combat the consequences of childhood obesity. Take a look at our resource to learn more about how obesity affects children, as well as its causes, and how to prevent it.
Author bio: Kids Car Donations is a national organization that accepts vehicle donations to better the lives of children. The organization partners with a number of well-known nonprofits serving children and teens who are confronted with physical, mental and emotional challenges to provide the care they need.
This infographic was created by Kids Car Donations, a
car donation center