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Overweight And Obesity In Children

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In modern times, our children are growing up in an obesogenic environment. There are all sorts of temptations around them that make them vulnerable to unnecessary weight gain. As parents, we try and navigate their eating choices and assist them in making healthy food choices. However, there are so many factors out of our control, such as unhealthy marketing of food goods, peer influences and social media that influence our children’s food choices.

Here’s a list of information that can assist in helping children grow appropriately:

  • Understand the causes: There are various factors contributing to childhood obesity, including genetics, sedentary lifestyle, unhealthy eating habits, and environmental factors. Educate yourself about these causes to better understand the situation.
  • Encourage healthy eating habits: Provide balanced meals: Offer a variety of nutritious foods like fruits, vegetables, whole grains, lean proteins, and low-fat dairy products.
  • Limit sugary drinks and snacks: Reduce the consumption of sugary beverages and unhealthy snacks. Encourage water as the primary drink.
  • Control portion sizes: Teach children about appropriate portion sizes and avoid oversized servings.
  • Family meals: Promote regular family meals as it encourages healthier eating patterns. Promote physical activity! Children need to play as much as possible. Encourage at least 60 minutes of daily physical activity.
  • Limit screen time: Reduce the time children spend watching TV or playing video games and encourage outdoor activities instead.
  • Encourage active hobbies: Encourage participation in sports, dance, swimming, or any other physical activities that the child enjoys.
  • Family activities: Engage in physical activities as a family, such as hiking, biking, or playing active games together.
  • Lead by example: Be a role model by practicing healthy habits yourself.
  • Involve the whole family: Encourage everyone in the household to adopt healthier habits together.
  • Reduce access to unhealthy foods: Limit the availability of sugary snacks, fast food, and processed foods at home.
  • Foster positive body image: Promote self-acceptance and emphasize the importance of overall health rather than focusing solely on weight.
  • Seek professional help: Consult a healthcare professional: If your child’s weight is a concern, consult with a paediatrician or a registered dietitian for personalized guidance.
  • Consider therapy or counselling: Emotional and psychological factors can also contribute to obesity. Seek professional help if needed.

Remember, every child is unique, and their needs may vary. It’s essential to approach the situation with love, support, and empathy.


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