Pediatric Obesity and It’s Lifelong Curse
Monkey see, monkey do is the way of a child. Yet, for millions of parents, getting the right foods into their kids’ bodies can be rather challenging. This can be especially challenging when the child moves to a school setting and sees what their friends are eating. With 1 in 3 kids in the U.S. considered obese, drastic change is needed for the health and wellbeing of our kids.
The recent modifications made by the American Academy of Pediatrics clearly indicate the necessity for change in what kids put into their bodies, starting in infancy. It is now recommend that infants under 1 year of age not be given any juice to drink. They also advise that older children drink juice sparingly. Instead, they recommend that parents encourage children to eat fresh, whole fruit.
Obesity Health Risks
The health risks that come from obesity are significant. Some of these risks include bone and joint problems, sleep apnea, asthma, premature sexual maturity as well as liver and gall bladder disease. Obese children are also at risk for having high blood pressure, high cholesterol, and diabetes, which puts them at risk for hear disease and other complications.
Parents are Scared Skinny
A study out of the U.K. found that most parents underestimate the size of their child in terms of body fat. The failure to recognize obesity at a young age increases their risk of remaining obese as an adult. The obesity epidemic has changed the way we perceive health in terms of body fat. When comparing children, many parents fail to recognize how common it is for children to weigh too much. The study showed parents what their child would look like as an adult if their Body Mass Index (BMI) remained the same. Visually seeing a 3D rendition of their child as an obese adults helped parents take action, which resulted in an average weight loss of nine pounds.
What Parents Can Do to Stop Pediatric Obesity?
Parents play a significant role in their child’s health. It is vitally important to teach children from a young age the importance of eating well. Instead of offering processed snacks, offer them fruit and cut vegetables. Avoid keeping unhealthy food in the house. Only provide children milk and water to drink. Fruit juice should only be given as a treat on occasion to children over one year of age.
Your child’s health is important to us. If you would like to discuss your child’s diet, obesity or how to introduce healthy foods, schedule an appointment with one of our pediatric providers.