Childhood obesity has doubled in children and quadrupled in adolescents over the last thirty years. This is a dangerous statistic because childhood obesity can cause high blood pressure, high cholesterol, type-2 diabetes, and heart disease. It is dangerous for their health short-term and in the long run, because children that are obese are twice as likely to be obese as adults. Below NCART has provided six ways to prevent childhood obesity. We encourage you to incorporate these into your life and spread awareness to others.
- Childhood obesity prevention begins at home, teaching the importance of a healthy and balanced diet. Provide your home with fruits, vegetable, whole grains, and protein, limiting the amount of junk food available.
- Include children in grocery shopping and meal preparation and encourage them to help you find healthy and fun recipes. When they are more involved with packing their lunch or cooking dinner, they will be excited about healthy and wholesome meals.
- Encourage children to get moving. Find a sport, indoor activity or outdoor activity they enjoy and do it often.
- Use birthdays as an opportunity to provide children with items to encourage any physical activity they are capable of doing.
- Limit screen time, which has been linked to obesity, violence, behavioral problems, irregular sleep, and poor academic performance. Use this guide on how much screen time should be allowed for children at different ages.
- If you are concerned with your child’s weight, visit your pediatrician, who will provide you with advice on approaching the issue. They will measure the child’s Body Max Index (BMI) and determine if their body weight is adequate for their height. The goal is typically not to enforce weight loss, but rather to promote a healthy lifestyle and encourage positive changes.
These are just a few ideas families can incorporate into their homes to prevent childhood obesity and promote a healthy lifestyle. Step by step, homes can become a place of health and happiness.
The National Coalition for Assistive & Rehab Technology hopes to increase the availability for Complex Rehab Technology (CRT) for all children, adolescents, and adults in need. Visit our website to see how to get involved and help us gain support on a state and federal level.