If you are a concerned parent with overweight or obese kids, you must be facing a lot of challenges in an effort to improve their health and prevent risks or complications they might develop in the future. Childhood obesity in America has become a national health pandemic, with every one in three children being overweight or obese.
In reference to a study published in the journal of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, the majority of parents’ involved in dealing with childhood obesity fail to admit that their child’s weight issues are a health problem. While most admitted that their child was obese or overweight, 31% perceived their children as in excellent or good in health. Here are 5 challenges that parents with overweight kids face:
In reference to Kyun E. Rhee, an assistant professor of pediatrics at the University of California in San Diego, there is a disconnect between weight and health, particularly among overweight or obese children because they are less prone to chronic or metabolic problems. However, Rhee, the lead author of the study, added that some children exhibited signs of potentially serious health issues, such as glucose intolerance and hypertension. She also noted that most doctors don’t undertake tests that can diagnose such issues.
According to Rhee, most parents face the challenge of changing their children’s lifestyle fitness, despite encouraging them to engage in exercise and develop healthy dietary habits. In some cases, Rhee said that the relationship between kids and parents can contribute to childhood obesity. This occurs when parents don’t step in to help their kids with their weight. In addition, when it comes to food, parents who were also overweight are less likely to make the necessary changes in diet for their children. Rhee thinks this could be attributed to parent’s previous attempts to control their weight through changes in diet which often fails. She notes that the parents’ failure to control their weight through high fiber diet makes them think it won’t be helpful to their kids as well. This adds weight to existing research suggesting why it is important for doctors to come up with perception-vs.-reality strategies to deal with the problem.
In reference to a recent report by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, nearly half of obese children and teens are not aware that they have weight problems. And that those who are underweight consider themselves to be healthy. Most parents with overweight children try to toe the fine line between admitting a problem and protecting their children the psychological damaging shame that can result. According to Rhee, parents aren’t willing to give their kids complexes, although she thinks that talking about healthy eating habits and exercises may not appear as if you are trying to address weight issues. Encouraging your kids to eat healthy foods and staying physically active can help improve their overall health and prevent weight gain. This is best if done when they are still very young.
Young children are ever anxious to learn new things every day, and with dozens of electronic gadgets in your home, you might not get a convincing reason for your child to stop playing computer or video games to go outside and sweat. Hardly can you convince your child to stop watching cartoons and instead join you in a more strenuous physical activity. Most electronic gadgets or wearable technologies are addictive and significantly contribute to sedentary lifestyle particularly for kids, leading to weight gain. Health experts recommend that you should limit the time your kids spend watching TV or playing computer games and instead get them involved in enjoyable physical activities.
5. Inadequate Time with Their Children
Most parents with young children go to work for the better part of the week except during weekends and holidays. This prompts most children are brought up in the hands of caretakers. It is no doubt that caretakers also need time to do other chores at home other than monitoring activities of every child under their supervision. Most characters in children develop depending on the discipline instilled by their caregivers, including eating habits and exercises. Where is that caretaker ready to face the cry and nag of a stubborn baby who wants pizza instead of fruit juice? Creating adequate time with your child will help pinpoint developing habits that can potentially contribute to weight gain and make necessary changes at an early age. Alternatively, prepare your kid’s meal and instruct caretakers when or how it will be served.
Parents living with overweight problem face many challenges, most of which can be overcome. Parents should actively play their roles in ensuring that their kids live active lifestyles and make healthy food choices. Note that failure to be mindful about the health of your child in terms of weight can cause serious medical issues later in his/her life. You will have no one to blame because you failed as a parent to instill discipline in your child at an early age when habits develop. Don’t get ashamed of overweight kids; take action and you will forever be proud to be a parent of a happy and healthy family!
Shawn Clark is a Health and Fitness Advisor. For the past 5 years, he is providing nutrition counseling, fitness training and health advice all over Phoenix, Arizona. Specializes on beauty, male sexual health, female sexual health, weight loss, detox & dietary supplements. Connect with him on Facebook, Twitter and on Google+.