Both adults and the younger generation are increasingly overweight and obesity among young people has grown with the UK leading as the fattest nation in Europe. The National Child Measurement Programme (NCMP) in the UK measures the body weight of over one million children each year and reports that 19.1% of children ages 10-11 are obese or overweight. The big culprits? A poor diet and lack of exercise. Young people spend more time on their smartphone, tablet, and computer or in front of the television rather than to play outside. Moreover for breakfast the average student prefers a sausage roll and a can of energy drink over brown bread. You must have a very fast metabolism if you do not want to gain weight with such a lifestyle.
Effects of Obesity
The growing size of young people is worrisome. Obesity is unhealthy. Children who are overweight, have a greater risk of developing a serious illness such as heart diseases or diabetes. Furthermore obesity can also cause a variety of psychological problems such as insecurity or shame. Fortunately, you can do a lot to reduce and prevent childhood obesity. But how do you make sure that kids enjoy a healthier lifestyle and even find it tasty? We give tips.
Learned young will be easy when old
Yeah right … fresh fruit, lots of vegetables and little sweets. Every parent knows perfectly well how to do it. And every child begs for chips, cookies, cola and other toxins. What now? The last thing you want to do is act as the food police every single day!
- Most eating habits are established in the human brain during the first three years of life. So it is best to start as early as possible to teach healthy eating habits.
- Set a good example. Do not put your child on a diet whilst you snack away in front of him or her.
- Do not buy cake, chips and other bad things. This ways, there is little temptation.
- Give your child healthy snacks, such as fruit smoothies, vegetable chips and microwave popcorn.
The average child sits hours per week behind the TV, computer, tablet or smartphone. This is not good for the body and certainly not for your waistline. Of course as a sensible adult, you know this. But how do you get your child moving?
- Allow your children a set maximum time on screen devices, such as the television or an iPad. Twice half an hour a day or one hour after school.
- Move together. Subscribe to a swimming pool or every Sunday morning turn your living room into a family-gym with exercise mats, a big ball, a skipping rope and of course good music .
- Perhaps a cliché, but still: leave car / scooter / moped at home and let your child ride to school on its bicycle. Even when it rains (a little).
Do it together
Talk to your child about the importance of exercise and healthy eating. If your son or daughter understands why it is important, he or she will struggle less against it. Explain that by living better, he or she will feel more secure about their body and be healthier later. Encourage your child to think about an active lifestyle. Does he have a good idea for healthy snacks? He may know a fun way to exercise more? Before you know it, healthy life in your home will become something very ordinary. And it shows in the long run!