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Obesity Prevention Must Begin at Home

Not losing weight but gaining it is why we are faced with an obesity epidemic in children. This is the real problem. Forget weight loss diets, children need a weight gain prevention diet. In fact they need weight gain prevention habits as obesity prevention must begin at home.

  • Obese parent or parents.
    Obese parents are more likely to have obese children. The reason for this is two-fold. First, obese parents probably pass down their poor habits to their children. The closer children are to their parents, the more likely they are to internalize the values and norms that their parents promote or model. Second, genetics plays a role in obesity.

  • Overeating.
    The big problem is that we all enjoy good food. So a diet that deprives children of the joy of eating is not likely to work in the long run. Therefore, the key is to learn them to avoid overeating. Parents must criticize their children's eating habits when they are young. It's important to learn children to eat slowly. It takes about 20 minutes for the stomach to signal the brain that it is full and eating slowly will thus help children to eat to satisfaction.

  • Poor eating habits.
    It's mainly about no parental control over the child's diet. When it comes to eating, parents need to implement diets rich in fruits, vegetables, and whole-grains. They can make eating enjoyable and healthy by preparing food together and eating together as a family. Skipping breakfast is a poor eating habit too. Breakfast is the most important meal of the day for weight control.

  • Amount of time spent in sedentary activities.
    Today's children make up the digital generation. They've been surrounded by computers their entire life and are not as physically active as children of past generations were. Instead of going outside and playing, they tend to hang out indoors, watching TV and playing computer and video games. the amount of time spent in sedentary activities is a strong predictor of weight gain. According to the recent studies, decreasing the amount of activity by less than four minutes each day can result in a person gaining one pound of fat in a year. Parents can create healthy environments for their children by doing regular physical activities, such as biking, swimming, or walking together. They should allow children to develop an appreciation of physical activity and enjoy exercising, by encouraging them to participate in sports, dance, martial arts, etc.

  • Convenience of fast food.
    Along with lack of physical activity comes the convenience of fast food. Way too often, parents reward children for a job well done with fast food. There are fast food restaurants virtually around every corner, and they have easy access to snack foods full of saturated fats and sugars. It must be the parents' care that fast food to be limited and reserved for special occasions.

    Valerian D is a freelance writer specialized in health issues affecting men as parents role in children obesity

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