If you aren't already in the know, obesity in children is a huge problem. Experts have estimated that 15% of our children are overweight and another 15% of our children are at risk.
One in five kids are overweight and the numbers are quite rapidly growing. Over the last 2 decades, this has increased more than 50%. The number of overweight kids has practically doubled.
Due to this very sad, but real problem, I have come up with an idea to promote healthy lifestyles in children; by combining sports, obstacle course training, boxing and kickboxing as well as light dumbbell training and medicine ball training designed for kids.
It will be a place where overweight kids can come together with children that have no weight problems as well for fun and exciting new ways to get in shape and stay in shape.
There will be exercise programs that won't "feel" like exercise at all! By including all children in the classes together and not limiting children who are overweight to only places such as "Fat Camps," the children can feel more comfortable, that they are not there because of their weight alone, but to have a good time and to learn about a "healthier" lifestyle.
A child's weight can put an enormous strain on their self-esteem, and our goal along with the parents', nutritionist's and pediatrician's guidance, is to provide a fun and supportive environment.
Risks For Overweight Children
- High blood pressure.
- Increase in the incidence of Type 2 Diabetes.
- High cholesterol.
- High risk for heart disease.
- Sleep apnea, which is interrupted breathing during sleep, which can lead to learning as well as memory problems.
- Liver disease.
- 70% chance of becoming an overweight or obese adult.
In an online pediatric poll, I took a survey and was curious of the results. The poll went as follows:
- 44% of parents said yes, their children were overweight.
22% said yes, they were a little overweight.
21% said no.
11% said they were not sure.
Total Votes: 13,303
So You Know
One pound of fat = 3500 calories. Eating an extra 350 calories per day, such as a medium milkshake or a large piece of cake, could earn you and extra pound of fat every 10 days. Or a pound in 20 days, if you drank an extra 175 calories per day.
Eating 175 calories fewer could mean an extra one pound your child could lose every 20 days and so on. If they kept their diet the same, but burned an extra 175 calories a day with exercise, they in return, could also lose a pound in 20 days.
Contributing Factors Of Obesity:
- Lack of physical activity
- Too much T.V.
- Too much video game time
- Poor nutrition
- Sugar-filled juice boxes
- Fast foods
- Junk foods
Parents should serve as role models to their children and can do so in case of obesity in their kids. By setting a good example of a healthy lifestyle, having a positive outlook on life and having good self-esteem they can only help their children do the same.
Activities For A Healthier Child
- Martial arts
- Bike riding
- Joining a gym with the older "teenager" and exercising together
- Exercising as a family
- Family bike rides
- Participating in family park activities
Whatever keeps you moving, really; keep it something the whole family will enjoy doing together and ask your kids for good suggestions as well. Don't focus on the activity they do as a "weight loss" activity, but concentrate more on it being fun and enjoyable.
Tips For Healthy Weight Loss & Support
- Don't eat while watching T.V.
- Eat together as a family.
- Give your kid's food choices and healthy alternatives.
- Encourage slower eating habits, this way they will notice "fullness" sooner.
- Involve kids in food preparation and grocery shopping.
- Don't overly restrict treats - practice moderation.
- Plan out snacks at specific times and avoid late night munching.
- Make sure your kids enjoy the physical activity they are involved in. Overweight kids may be uncomfortable or embarrassed participating in certain activities.
- Be involved in your children's thoughts, ideas, and feelings all of the time.
- Breads and crackers made with enriched flour and whole wheat grains. Top with fruit spreads, fat free cheese or natural peanut butter.
- Low fat ice cream, frozen yogurt, popsicles, fruit sorbet and fruit juice bars.
- Fresh veggies.
- Flavored rice cakes.
- Cereal bars.
- Unsalted nuts.
- Baby carrots.
- Sugar Free Jell-O.
- To View The Food Nutrient Database, Click Here.
Simple ways for weight loss with small changes:
- Instead of eating white bread, use wheat.
- Bake, steam or grill your food, not fry.
- Limit T.V. time, take a walk or play some ball instead.
- Instead of whole milk, try 1-2%, fat-free, skim or soy, which is also lactose-free. (Just switching your child's milk, if they drank 3 cups everyday, would save them about 150 calories per day, a pound every 23 days!)
- Stop the soda, or limit it as much as possible. One 12 oz. can of soda taken away can save you about 155 calories per day.
- Eat leaner meats and poultry.
- Avoid large portions.
- Skip "seconds".
- Introduce your children to kids flavored water.
- Choose fruit for dessert instead of cakes and cookies.
- Remove the skin from your poultry.
- Instead of white pasta try wheat pasta.
Long Journey... Right Path
Losing weight is not, and will not be, easy. You will need help from your children, pediatrician, and quite possibly a nutritionist who can come up with a healthy meal plan as well as monitor your child's progress safely and effectively.
Trying to help your child lose weight is important. It is even more important to control the weight before it starts in early childhood, especially if your child is already at risk for a weight problem (for example: if their parent's are overweight or obese).
As a parent, it is critical to be supportive and let your children know that they are special and very loved at any weight. Children will feel about themselves what they take in from you, the parent. Talk to your children about weight and nutrition as well as exercise.
Let them also voice their opinions and questions concerning life and fitness. Never put your children in the "overweight" category. You should also gradually change their diet as well as their physical activities. Let them be able to adjust to the changes in their lives and have a say in it as well.
For more info on T-Fitness Personal Training and Family Fitness Center, please contact Tisha at Tfitness29@aim.com or at TishaRodrigues.com. Start living a new, healthier, happier life with the entire family!