How to stop child obesity?
How can exercise be beneficial to children who are overweight or morbidly obese?
Programs: Overweight, Obese Children & Teens
Do you remember your middle and high school years? Many of those years included physical fitness classes in school. Today, we see that successful PE (Physical Education) classes are a thing of the past. According to a recent article offered by the Centers of Disease Control and Prevention website, 'nearly half of American youths aged 12-21 years are not vigorously active on a regular basis.' About 14 percent of young people report no recent physical activity. Participation in all types of physical activity declines strikingly as age or grade in school increases.
Childhood obesity in the United States has grown considerably in recent years. About two-thirds of adults in the United States are overweight, and almost one-third are obese. Obesity is among the easiest medical conditions to recognize but most difficult to treat. Unhealthy weight gain due to poor diet and lack of exercise is responsible for over 300,000 deaths each year.
Inactivity in Adolescents, Teenagers, and Young Adults?
Overweight and obesity in children and adolescents is generally caused by a combination of factors, including, lack of physical activity and unhealthy eating patterns, or a combination of the two, with genetics and lifestyle both playing important roles in determining a child's weight. Risk factors for heart disease, such as high cholesterol and high blood pressure, occur with increased frequency in overweight children and adolescents compared to children with a healthy weight. Type 2 diabetes, previously considered an adult disease, has increased dramatically in children and adolescents. Overweight and obesity are closely linked to type 2 diabetes. Overweight adolescents have a 70 percent chance of becoming overweight or obese adults. This increases to 80 percent if one or more parent is overweight or obese. Overweight or obese adults are at risk for a number of health problems including heart disease, type 2 diabetes, high blood pressure, and some forms of cancer. The most immediate consequence of overweight as perceived by the children themselves is social discrimination. This is associated with poor self-esteem, lack of interest or inclusion in social situations, and depression.
How to Determine if Your Child or Teenager is Overweight or Obese?
A Body Mass Index (BMI) can be calculated from measurements of height and weight. Health professionals and physical fitness trainers often use a BMI 'growth chart' to help them determine whether a child or adolescent is overweight or obese. BMI growth charts are not intended to be used as a sole diagnostic instrument. Instead, growth charts are tools that contribute to forming an overall clinical impression for the child being measured. You may find the Body mass index-for-age percentiles using the 'intersection' of your childs BMI and age to find your childs percentile rank. Please examine the BMI Growth Chart for Children and Adolescent’s below for a closer look:
Beginning a New Exercise Program for Overweight, Obese Children & Teens
Now that you have a better idea of the risks associated with obesity, now may be the time to get your child involved in regular activity and exercise. Even if your child manages challenges related to mobility, fatigue, and lack of motivation, now is the time to start planning for a healthier future. In the beginning, activities should be scheduled around more social engagements. Perhaps simple walks around the neighborhood, trips to the park with family and friends, or even weekend activities in the back yard can begin your child on his or her new journey to better health and fitness. Here are some tips to consider when planning regular activities or exercise for your overweight or obese child:
- Walking around the block
- Riding a bike
- Walk the dog
- Use the stairs (if pain free)
- Light chores
- Modified crunches
- Modified squat
- Resistance Rowing
- Counter push or Wall push
- Use small weights for various arm exercises
- Other large muscle rhythmic movements
Benefits of Regular Exercise for Overweight, Obese, Children & Teens?
If you or your child is obese there is a lot you can do to prevent further illness or risks for illness. As noted above the benefits of healthy eating and exercise are numerous. Start a new plan today to help your entire family live a healthier lifestyle by including one hour per day of moderately intense physical activity as prescribed by your doctor and eat a balanced diet complete with fruits, vegetables, moderate dairy, low sugar, lean meats, and superfoods that are high in antioxidants, fiber, vitamins, and minerals, like kale, spinach, certain nuts, avacados, quinoa, hemp seeds, and whole fruits. Check with your doctor about possible food alergies prior to beginning a new diet. You will be satisfied knowing that you are helping your family to enjoy a meaningful long life!