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How Parents Contribute to Childhood Obesity

Published by monica on Saturday, December 22, 2012

Photo credit by Logan Brumm Photography and Design

No parent wants their child to be obese. So why is it then that so many parents are contributing to childhood obesity? People today live a fast paced lifestyle that is not always conducive to healthy living. Parents pass on poor eating and fitness habits to their children.

Many families do not eat well balanced meals. Parents and children are busy with work, school and other activities. Moms and dads often stop at a fast food restaurant after picking up their kids from school or extracurricular activities. Kids are allowed to eat hamburgers, fries, large sodas and other foods high in calories and fat. Even when parents do cook at home, they often select fast meals that are highly processed, high in sugars and/or fats. These poor eating habits are contributing to the problem of childhood obesity.

Many parents contribute to their children being overweight by allowing them to live too sedentary of a lifestyle. Many children spend their days off from school inside watching television or movies. They play video games and spend hours sitting at the computer. Most parents do not limit their children’s time watching television and playing games.

Parents should encourage their children to go outside to play or to participate in sports in order to stay physically fit. Many parents do not have enough time to go outside to play with their children or to drive them back and forth from sports practices. Instead of creating a plan to allow their children to be more active, they let kids fall into a habit of not moving around much or exercising. Too much food and too little activity is leading to an increased number of obese children.

Children learn from their role models. Most children (even if they do not admit it) look up to their parents and follow their example. Children are not the only segment of society growing larger. According to the American Obesity Association, at least 30 percent of all Americans can be classified as obese. Adults are not teaching their children the importance of living a healthy and active lifestyle.

Kids see parents who are not taking the time out to exercise. Many children have parents who sit to watch television or surf the computer for a few hours at the end of a long day of work and taking care of the family. Children copy this lifestyle, not realizing that they should remain active throughout the evening.

Children see their parents snacking on food throughout the evening. Parents, like children often grab sweet treats or salty snacks. They are not setting an example for their kids by eating healthy snacks such as fruits and vegetables.

Many parents realize that their children are overweight and do little to change that fact. Parents are not purposely propelling their children to obesity. Most parents believe their child will grow taller and slim down. Parents must stop contributing to childhood obesity by cooking healthy meals for the entire families. Families need to get outside to be active together, rather than having everyone be sedentary on their days off.

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