Causes of Childhood Obesity and How to Avoid Them

One of the more prominent causes of childhood obesity is good old mom and dad.

Yes, it’s true our children learn a good part of all their behavior and develop future habits from their parents, relatives and friends, especially when they are very young. Their eating habits are no different, in fact healthy eating habits or the lack thereof, more than any other behavior… starts at home.

– If you allow your children to dictate the rules, the results will not be good.

They certainly will not always do as you ask, but monkey see, monkey do. If fruits and vegetables and other healthy foods are a staple in the home, they’ll pick up on it. That’s not to say we need to eliminate all the goodies, we all need those from time to time. We just need the basic framework to be in place

Other Causes of Obesity

Unhealthy eating habits learned at a young age, while certainly a root cause of obesity for some kids, is not the sole cause for many others. Physical inactivity is also a large contributor in many children. Video games and obesity unfortunately can often go hand-in-hand.

With all the unbelievably realistic video games, movies, and constant new additions in electronic devices, it can be tough to get off the couch, for adults as well as for the kids.

How to Escape the Effects of Childhood Obesity

Well, number one of course is to set a good example. They learn from you, so do your best to show them the importance of physical activities, and how much fun they can be. Take the family biking, camping or hiking or even just a walk. Any number of fun physical activities should be a regular part of the family routine.

While it’s true that many children are picky eaters, they learn from us what is healthy and what they should be eating. To avoid the causes of childhood obesity, the rules of healthy eating and the importance of a balanced healthy diet must start young, and the sooner the better.

If your child is overweight, let them know they are loved and appreciated no matter what. If they eat healthy and continue to be physically active, they’ll grow up healthy and happy and the weight will usually stabilize. If not, it’s all the more important our kids know that they have our acceptance and approval.

Where to Start?

– Again, show them how much fun being physically active can be, the key word being “fun”. Children should get a minimum of 1 hour of physical activity each and every day. Shut off the computer and take them to the park or ball field if you have to!

– Limit television and computer time, it’s really a must these days.

– Make sure to provide a balanced healthy diet for the family, and keep plenty of healthy snacks on hand so when they do get hungry, and you know they will, the right stuff is available and handy. A bowl of apples, oranges and believe it or not, even carrot sticks will disappear fast when young stomachs growl.

– Eat meals at home and as a family as often as you can, where you can guide their food choices to healthy ones.

– Don’t allow foods or snacks of any kind when watching TV. If the kids need a snack, eat it in the kitchen, a habit that will serve them well in the future. Never use food as punishment for your child’s bad behavior, or as a reward for good behavior, it sends the wrong message.

– Avoid all sugary drinks if possible, encourage water as the drink of choice. It will save their teeth, their waistlines, and your pocketbook… not to mention their health!

The habits that are formed by our kids as children, will follow them throughout their lives, try to make them healthy habits.

Remember that 70% of all overweight or obese adolescents will become overweight or obese adults!