Pomerene Hospital Blog
One in 3 children in the United States are overweight or obese according to national standards for age, weight and height measurements. This is a difficult topic to address since we can all be very sensitive about any criticism of our children. The difficulty health care providers face, due to the sensitive nature of this topic, is that it often prevents addressing a serious health concern. The rates of childhood obesity have been rising over the last 10 years and the trend continues. The top reasons this has occurred are:
- Increased availability of fast food
- Increased availability of "junk foods" to snack on
- Sedentary lifestyles of children and habit
The weight alone is not the end of the concern. There are many health risks associated with obesity diagnosed in children that historically has been seen in adults. Examples include type 2 diabetes, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, heart disease and arthritis to name a few.
The good news is that childhood is the best time to fix this and it is completely reversible if the problem already exists and is preventable with just a few simple changes.
1. PARENTS bring this up with your child's health care provider. Take the initiative so the discussion takes place.
2. Limit "screen time" to a maximum of 1 hour per day. Then spend time with some type of physical activity. The current recommendation is 60 minutes of play or other physical activity per day
3. Skip the fast food drive through. Pack your own or take time to eat a healthy meal on the road.
4. Make healthy choices available for snacks. Fruit and veggies can be a real substitute. It takes 17 days to break a habit for adults. It is easier for children. Treat chips or ice cream as just that - a treat.
Commit to making these changes and our children will be healthier for it!