Every parent wishes for his/her child to be as healthy and fit as possible. Being healthy has tons of benefits, and there are no side effects of being healthy.
On the contrary being unhealthy and unfit has major downsides, and it will do no good but create more harm. One such unhealthy trend which is becoming common amongst children of all ages is obesity.
What Is Obesity
Obesity is a type of health condition in which an individual is overweight and has an excessive amount of fat in their body.
Obesity can be defined in 2 ways:
- Is a person’s bodyweight 20% higher than what it should be
- If the person’s BMI is between 25-29.9
A very high percentage of kids all around the world are becoming fat and leaning towards obesity.
The American Heart Association reports that 1 in 3 American kids/teens is overweight or obese. This is usually due to parents not being strict enough with their kid’s diet and eating habits.
Being obese has many negative effects, as such let us discuss how and why kids become fat, the issues of being overweight and how to help kids lose weight.
How and Why Are Kids Becoming Fat
There are a lot of factors as to why kids are becoming fat, and one of the main reasons is that kids are being taught and encouraged unhealthy eating habits by their parents.
What are unhealthy eating habits one may ask? There are a lot of unhealthy eating habits, and some of the most common are further discussed.
One major unhealthy eating habit is letting your child give up healthy eating. Allowing your child to eat only what he/she wants, which involves allowing your kid to eat mostly unhealthy foods such as sugary foods, fried food items and processed foods, and not letting him/her eat healthy foods is one major contribution which is causing your child to become fat.
The next thing which parents do which is making their child fat is allowing the kids to eat alone. When you let your kid eat alone, the kid is not aware of what healthy and unhealthy foods are. Instead, he/she will go for food items which are usually good to taste, and they eventually will start eating huge amounts of it without any form of supervision. This will ultimately lead the child to become fat and develop Obesity in the end.
Another thing is that kids tend to be great imitators and as such if the parents often lead a sedentary, lethargic and inactive lifestyle, the children will also pick up on this bad habit of their parents, and this will make the child lazy and inactive which will eventually lead to obesity.
There are some other additional factors which are causing kids to become fat, and they are lack of exercise, overeating, and lack of willpower.
What Are the Negative Effects of Becoming Fat
Becoming fat or obese brings with it many negative effects to the body as well as to the mind of an individual. Let us first start off with the negative impact on the body which begins with medical problems which affect their physical health and well-being.
If your kid is obese and overweight, he/she has higher chances of developing serious medical conditions such as diabetes, high blood pressure, high cholesterol and cardiovascular diseases.
Besides these, your child might develop bones and joints problems, asthma and shortness of breath, liver diseases, etc. The risks of developing cardiovascular diseases are much higher, and these include coronary heart diseases, heart attacks, and failures, stroke, etc.
When we talk about the mental aspect of kids who are obese, they tend to have very low esteem and have many emotional issues as well. Many of the obese kids are often teased, ridiculed, bullied and even rejected by their friends. As such all these take a toll on the mental health of the kids and as such their mental health declines.
As a result of being obese, many will develop mental disorders such as depression, anxiety, self-harming, suicidal tendencies, etc. At the same time, some develop eating disorders such as bulimia nervosa, anorexia, etc. While some start to abuse substances such as drugs and alcohol.
How to Help Your Kid Lose Weight
The process of losing weight for people regardless of age is not an easy task, and the same goes for kids as well. That being said, as adults we have the ability to understand the harmful effects of being overweight. This will make up tidy up our diet, start working out and even take an effective weight loss supplement.
Unfortunately for kids, it doesn’t quite work the same way but there are many ways and approaches in which you can help your child to lose weight.
However, you should keep in mind that not all approaches are safe. Therefore, as a parent, you should take extra precautions and safety measure to make sure that your kid will lose weight safely.
The first step is to make sure that your child has no health conditions before starting the weight loss process and that he/she is healthy and strong to undertake the journey. With that said, the following are some effective ways on how you can help your kid to lose weight.
Say NO to Unhealthy Food Choices
Unhealthy food choices can be regarded as one of the main contributors to the rise of obesity in kids. As a parent, you should see to it that your child is not eating excessive amounts of sugary treats, fried and oily foods, processed foods and foods with artificial flavoring.
Introduce Healthy Eating Habits
After cutting down on unhealthy foods, the next step is to replace them with healthy food choices. This is one crucial step and will no doubt go a long way in making your kid a healthy and fit individual. Some of the food which can be introduced into their diet includes whole grain treats, fresh fruits and vegetables, wheat bread, peanut butter and non-fat milk. Also, make sure that your kid drinks more than enough water daily.
This is one thing which tends to be overlooked by most parents. However, you should keep in mind that children need to involve themselves in physical activity at least for 60 minutes a day. If your child spends hours sitting in front of a television, a computer or some other things which do not involve movement, see to it that your child does away with them. Getting active doesn’t mean doing extreme exercises; however one can start out by going for walks, taking a hike, cycling, etc. You can also enroll your child in sports and dancing classes etc.
The above are some of the things which you can do to help your kid healthily lose weight. The progress might not be seen in an instant, but as a parent, you should understand and trust the process and be patient. Your kid will also need a good amount of encouragement throughout the process. Therefore you should also see to it that your kid has a good support system as well.
With these things said, Consistency is key, and if your kid consistently sticks to these things then, you will see that your kid lose weight and also this will also effectively prevent your kid from becoming fat.