Lifestyle Management for Overweight Children

Sun Jul 28, 2013 3:42 pm


Lifestyle Management for Overweight Children
Recently, the number of overweight children has grown. Obesity leads to health problems, such as: heart disease, diabetes, high blood pressure, difficulty in breathing, psychological problems and possibly social problems.
[t]Practics that may lead to obesity:[/t]
• Reduced physical activity.
• Watching TV or computer games for more than 2 hours daily.
• Eating irregularly may result in frequent snacking.
• Excessive consumption of high calorie foods (sugar, sweets, soft drinks, chocolate, chips, fried and fatty foods).
• Serving large food portions' and parents' insistence that their children should eat it all.
• Parents' insufficient monitoring and direction to their children's eating habits.
• Parents follow unhealthy eating habits where children observe and follow.
• Note: Weight loss programs designed for adults do not work for children and can affect their growth. To help your children, speak to your doctor and dietitian.
[t]Helpful Guidelines:[/t]
• Improve the eating habits of all family members, so the overweight child is not the only one following guidelines.
• Limit the time spent on watching TV/ playing computer games to only 2 hours daily. TV / computer games do not burn a lot of calories and take the child a way from physical activities. Many children also consume a lot of high caloric snacks while watching TV.
• Teach the child how to deal with his / her emotions without overeating.
• Encourage healthy eating, such as; low fat foods. Introduce baked / grilled or steamed foods rather than fried.
• Reduce the amount of oil in cooking.
Encourage all family members to eat more salads, fresh fruits and vegetables, and to drink water in place of soft drink or juice.

Set specific times for meals and snacks. Regular meal times will help control excessive food intake.
• Encourage physical activities; such as exercise on daily basis or at least on alternate days. Take your child along with you for walks.
• Serve small portions of food. Parents should not insist that their child should eat all foods that are served on the plates.
• Provide healthy snacks, such as; air popped- popcorn, fresh fruits, vegetables, low-fat milk and its products. Reduce the intake of snacks that are high in calories, such as; nuts, chips, candies, and chocolate bars.
• Finally, be a role model to your family by adopting a healthy lifestyle.

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