Childhood Obesity Epidemic
Childhood obesity can cause a person to eat to overeat!
Today’s children are destined on becoming the super size generation.
According to the CDC article, Childhood Obesity Facts
, 1 in 3 children are overweight and 1 in 6 are obese. Childhood obesity has more than tripled since 1970. Diagnoses of weight related problems are increasing in children at a rapid rate
Parenting was different
I was born at the end of 1969. I could say life was easier but that would not be the truth, it was just different. My parents knew nothing about nutrition or nutritional values. They allowed me to eat sugary cereals for breakfast, peanut butter and jelly on white bread for lunch (whole wheat was unheard of in my house) and fried chicken for dinner (generally fried in Crisco.) The meals might all sound unhealthy. Truthfully, no one thought about healthy options.
Color televisions were to expensive to own. The first television set I ever watched was a small 13″ black and white. We had one of the earliest models of remote controls for a television. Every time my father needed a channel changed he would say, “Aaron, get up and go change the television to channel…”
Childhood obesity was not a problem. We couldn’t be obese we were too busy. I didn’t have distractions of video games, cell phones or computers. If I wanted to meet up with a friend I would try calling them on a landline (oh the horror). Most people didn’t have answering machines and often I couldn’t leave a message. I then either walked or rode my bike to see if they were home (more horrors.)
My parents favorite phrase was, “go play outside!” It didn’t matter if it was snowing, raining or hot. I knew when dinnertime was and the expectation was that I would be home. If I wasn’t home I was not get catered to. I was on my own because I missed mealtime. (I could cheat and call my grandmother who lived close) Somehow, I seemed to have managed and grew up without suffering to many ill effects.
Guilty Parents Syndrome
Today, parents often suffer from “guilty parents syndrome” and unintentionally contribute to childhood obesity. They feel they aren’t giving enough time or attention to their child so they overcompensate by purchasing things for their child. Children wind up with so many distractions they can easily forget there is a world outside of their home.
Children never have to worry about actually seeing a friend. Friends are readily available through facebook, SMS, cell phones or many other ways without ever leaving the house. If a child does leave home, they will often ask about being driven to their destination. The guilty parents syndrome makes parents say yes to driving around their children.
Playing outside has become rare. Kids would rather use electronics to fill their time. Parents have become more cautious about telling a child to “go play outside.” Weather and the outdoors have become the enemy. Childhood obesity has become the new companion for children.
Mealtime has become a job and less enjoyable for many people. Parents are becoming a victim of their own quality control in foods. We spend more time researching what is healthy than actually sitting down to eat with out family.
Stopping childhood obesity
Stopping childhood obesity means rediscovering the world!
We should all be determined we will be the best parents possible. If we are to become the best parents we have to stop and see what is and isn’t working in our child’s life. We need to place our children’s health first but we should never sacrifice their needs on experiencing childhood
1. Monitor all of your child’s electronic usage. If necessary, keep a journal to check their usage and see how much time they are truly spending on gadgets.
2. Don’t be afraid to tell your child, “Go outside and play.” If they are still at an age where monitoring is still needed go outside with them and rediscover the beauty of the world together.
3. Know your child’s friends and parents. Never be afraid to actually meet them face to face. You could even ride a bicycle with your child to meet the other family.
4. Make meals fun again. It’s okay to read labels. We just don’t want to spend so much time doing it that we make our kids afraid of what they eat.
Parenting is about being adaptable. I truly wonder how many parents have adapted to making life better for their child and have not noticed they are no longer connecting with them.
Tags: childhood obesity
, favorite phrase
, first television
, nutritional values
, rapid rate
, super size me