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September 14, 2018

Four Easy Steps to Help Your Child Fight Obesity

Joyce Knestrick, PhD, CRNP, FAANP

A quick glance around the playground confirms that childhood obesity is a problem. Despite rumors that child obesity rates are declining, new research points to the opposite. Since the 1970s, obesity rates have more than tripled, and today one in five kids struggles with their weight.

While obesity is a top concern for parents right alongside drug abuse and smoking, many parents don’t know how to help. Here’s how you can make weight loss part of your everyday routine.

  1. Eat fresh. Pair fruits and veggies with lean meats to provide fuel without wasting extra calories on sugar and processed food.
  2. Play. Kids need at least 60 minutes a day, but it can be fun. Hide and seek, tag or a quick family soccer game count.
  3. Recharge. We never forget to charge our devices, but we neglect our own battery. Lack of sleep can cause weight gain, so make sure your kids get enough shut-eye each night.
  4. Don’t overdo it. Eat together to control portion sizes, and enjoy the added benefits of greater self-esteem, better academic performance and lower rates of depression.  

Obesity is a real health threat for kids, but parents can help with these simple strategies that are good for the whole family!