Childhood obesity: How to prevent it.

In our history, children have never been more sedentary. Since 1999, child obesity has risen an astounding ten percent. Child obesity is a national and world epidemic. Researchers and doctors are predicting that this may be the first generation where the kids don’t live as long as their parents.

So, what’s a parent to do? Well, keep in mind that it’s a lot easier to prevent child obesity than to cure it. The secret is to start early in a child’s life.

Diet is a no-brainer. Watch what and how much you feed your children. It’s that simple. If you limit junk foods early in their lives, they will have less desire for them later. The idea is not to spoil their taste buds. The sweetness of an apple once satisfied a child’s sugar cravings.

Now the hard part. When it comes to getting them physically active, it starts by parents leading by example. Before little ones can even walk, they’re watching and registering your every move. When they get old enough, they begin to mimic your actions. Just look how often you see children pushing toy shopping carts and lawnmowers behind their parents. If parents get physical in front of them often enough, they will sense that physical activity is a way of life. Once you create the desire for kids to be active, it’s important to fill their world with physical activities that are fun and challenging. The idea is to help them develop motor ability, balance and general strength. The earlier you do this in their lives, the more fun and enjoyable physical activities will become. Kids don’t walk away from fun. They will always find time for physical fun growing up. Plant the bug that makes them move early on and you won’t have to bug them to move later.

Children are highly impressionable. They want to do what you do. Parents are kids first and most important role model, so choose wisely what you do in front of them. Couch potatoes, t.v. buffs, and junk food addicts are also very influential.

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