The percentage of children with obesity in the United States has nearly tripled since 1970. Today, 1 in 5 school-aged children are obese. Let’s change this statistic with these four lifestyle tips in order to help our children lead healthy lives:
- Regular physical activity: Participating in as little as 30 minutes of exercise a day helps children improve cardio-respiratory fitness, builds strong bones and muscles, controls weight and reduces the risk for serious health conditions later in life such as heart disease, cancer, type two diabetes and high blood pressure
- Drinking water instead of sugary beverages: Youth in the United States consumed 224 calories on average a day from just one soft drink (which is nearly 11% of their daily calorie intake). Reducing this liquid candy intake leads to better weight control and increased cognitive functioning. H20 does amazing things for your body, especially in the formative years of childhood. Water carries nutrients and oxygen to your cells and flushes out toxins and waste.
- Practicing healthy eating habits: Serving reasonably sized portions is key to reducing obesity. Large portions can mean your child is consuming more food than their body and stomach can maintain for a healthy weight. The best way to practice this, is consulting the nutritional labels found on the packaging of their food and sticking to them. Make sure to control your child’s snacking while they participate in any screen time, as it’s very easy to disregard how much you’re putting into your mouth when you’re distracted.
- Reducing screen time: The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends no more than two hours a day of screen time for children. Instead, encourage kids to participate in outdoor activities, imaginative games, dancing, playing tag or jumping rope. Excessive screen time is linked to negative mental health, obesity, hyperactivity, sleep disturbance and poor school performance. Set boundaries for your children and help them to achieve a healthy lifestyle.
SOURCE: Physical Activity
SOURCE: Obesity Prevention Facts
SOURCE: Serving Size vs. Portion