Children Obese

 

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.

Practics that may lead to obesity

  • 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.

Helpful Guidelines

  • 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.

Helpful tips to fight obesity in children

 

* Exercise daily with family members or friends.  

* Bake or grill or boil the foods than frying it.

* Consume sweets in moderation & replace them with fresh fruits, as possible.

* Replace full cream milk & its products with low fat or non fat milk products.

* Divide the daily meals to 3 main & 3 snacks.

* Avoid soft drinks & sweetened beverages.

* Limit TV watching or computer games to only 1-2 hours daily.

 

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