Parents of Obese Children
Parents of obese children are often overweight or obese themselves. In fact having one or more obese parent is considered an early indicator of childhood obesity.
Even if they are not obese and maintain normal weight, parents are under a lot of societal pressure to deal with their childrens weight issues. There have even been radical calls for punishing parents who allow their children to become obese. Of course, these kinds of responses to the problem do not present useful solutions, and only cause more intense emotional responses.
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Obesity can be the result of more than just nutrition.
Obesity can be the result of one or more factors, including poor nutrition, lack of exercise, an inherited propensity to gain weight, and growth problems.
The first step that parents should take is to have the child examined by a doctor to make sure there are not health issues involved other than poor nutrition. If the child is obese strictly due to eating the wrong kinds of foods, it is time for the parents to begin changing the family lifestyle.
Clearing Out the Pantry
Nutrition is, quite simply, a family affair. If you open the pantry and find it loaded with junk food like chips, candy bars and cookies, then it isn't hard to understand why the children are eating the wrong snack foods. Unhealthy snacking is one of the main culprits when it comes to the causes of childhood obesity. If meals are eaten on the run, or at fast food restaurants, the children come to believe this is a normal dietary lifestyle.
Parents can teach children how to lose weight in a healthy manner by making several changes in the family lifestyles.
First, the pantry needs to be cleaned out and refilled with only healthy foods. There should be easy access to fruit and low-fat and low-sugar snacks. Parents need to change their eating habits to match their children's. They can change with the child by cooking balanced meals, eating as a family , limiting junk food forages, and losing excess weight.
In addition, parents of obese children can pack healthy school lunches. At school obese children are often bullied and teased, which causes self-esteem problems. Sending your children to school with a healthy lunch sends a message that the child is dealing with his or her weight problem. It gives a sense of control over their life that is important for maintaining self-esteem.
Exercising as a Family
In addition to changing eating patterns, parents of obese children also need to help their children increase their activity levels. The best way to begin this program is to do physical activities together as a family. For example the family can take a walk together after dinner each evening. Some families purchase a family membership at the gym and attend together on a regular basis.
Parents of obese children need to make sure they are setting the right example by living a healthy lifestyle themselves.
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Learn more about developing good eating habits and making lifestyle changes as a family.
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