Obesity in childhood leads to obesity as adults. In spite of being aware of the health problems associated with obesity, the percentage of obese kids in America is increasing at an alarming rate. Studies show that one out of three kids is obese.
Most kids are not into exercising and spend most of their time watching TV, playing video games or using the computer. Today’s busy schedules and fast-paced lives give parents no time to prepare home cooked nutritious meals for the family every day.
Parents have a responsibility to prevent overweight in their kids and that means adapting the way the whole family eats and exercises. It is important to spend time together as a family and steer kids towards a healthy lifestyle. Leading by example is the only way parents can take care of their kid’s health.
The problem with obesity is not just an obese adult with fat hanging from the body, suffering from low self-esteem and getting bullied by peers. There are several other serious risk factors involved. Several health conditions, such as high blood pressure, high cholesterol, type 2 diabetes, bone and joint problems, liver and gallbladder disease, depression, shortness of breath and restless sleep are not exclusively adult domain anymore – they affect kids too.
If you think that is scary, wait till you hear the rest. You should know what you are putting your kids through, for you to be able to take control over their diet and health.
Latest research shows that obese kids may be damaging their thyroids, in the process creating a vicious cycle of metabolism and overweight. Researchers say that obesity may cause inflammation that damages the thyroid, which secretes hormones to regulate metabolism. Any increase or decrease in the production of the thyroid hormone is dangerous for health.
As parents, you will be able to take better care of your child’s health if you understand how the body gets affected. Our bodies get their energy from food we consume through metabolism. This is the chemical reaction that takes place within the body cells that convert the fuel from food into energy we need for everything, right from moving to growing to thinking. It is a vital process that starts when we are conceived and ends with our death. People die when the metabolism stops functioning.
Most disorders of metabolism are caused either because of abnormal levels or problems with the functioning of hormones or enzymes, such as hyperthyroidism and hypothyroidism. Hyperthyroidism is caused due to an overactive thyroid gland when it releases too much thyroxine hormone. Hypothyroidism is an underactive thyroid gland, where it releases too little thyroxine. This can result in excessive weight gain, slow heart rate, fatigue as well as constipation. Kids and teens need to be treated on time to avoid the risk of mental retardation and stunted growth. Now researchers have found that overweight can put the thyroid gland at risk.
Fatty food, prepackaged meals and lack of exercise are factors that contribute to kids being overweight, along with television and video games, which are the major culprits.
Experts say that the key to keeping kids healthy is to take the whole-family approach to obesity. Kids usually learn by seeing their parents. Bring about a change in eating habits and ensure everybody exercises. Get your kids and teens involved by planning healthy meals and making good food choices.
It is important not to fall into the most common food traps that parents usually fall into. The old fashioned idea of rewarding the kids with chocolates or treats for good behavior should be abandoned. However, favorite snacks and chocolates should not be completely forbidden as children tend to rebel and overeat. Then the most common clean-plate system where kids are supposed to finish everything on the plate can prove to be dangerous. Kids should be allowed to eat only as much as they wish to.
Most important is to make sure your child’s self esteem does not get affected and this can be done by letting them know that you love them whatever their weight. This is the first step to a healthy and happy child.