Obesity is a problem plaguing the United States. Unfortunately, the hardest generation hit by obesity issues are the children. Childhood obesity is on the rise and can be seen on reality television programming, talk shows and documentaries. Everything from poor diet and exercise to self-esteem issues has been blamed. The fact of the matter is, no matter what the underlying cause, childhood obesity must be reversed. This guide will discuss the importance of health exams for obese children, how to transition obese children into proper diet and exercise and some of the reason that children are obese in America.
Importance of Health Exams for Obese Children
One of the greatest ways that parents can help their children to combat against the continual issue of obesity is to take a greater interest in health exams for their children. Having health exams on a regular basis can be important because it helps to focus on two unique aspects for a child who is already obese. The first point is that it promotes awareness within the child. There comes a moment when the doctor has to be honest with the child about their obesity and provide them with some suggestions and guidance for ways that they can combat against this problem on a daily basis. However, the other significance is that health exams provide parents with more insight into how their child’s body works and any conditions that they can expect to deal with in the future as a result of their obesity.
Sometimes children are obese because it’s a hint that there are some problems arising within their bodies. Not everyone develops exactly the same or during the same time frame and it’s not uncommon for some children to have difficulties with various aspects of their body due to a slow development process. As a result, some children are obese because they have underlying conditions that are causing them to be this way, such as a thyroid condition. Unless the child is having regular health exams, there’s no possible way that an underlying condition is going to be discovered by the doctor. This is one of the reasons why it’s very important to take children in for check ups and other regular appointments with their doctor; without this happening on a regular basis, it’s very difficult for a doctor to pinpoint any type of issue that the child may be experiencing.
Other times, having a health exam can be the factor that causes children to take more of an interest in their obesity. Some children don’t do well with the idea of their parents constantly telling them about their obesity and trying to provide them with guidance on how to prevent it from worsening. In these situations, they may be more willing to listen to someone else provide them with advice and suggestions about their obesity, such as a doctor or another related healthcare professional. A doctor can explain to them why they are becoming obese and some of the actions that they can take to prevent obesity from becoming more of an issue in their daily life. A doctor can also talk with them about their feelings regarding obesity and how other children may treat them as a result of being obese. Some health exams also prompt children to become more interested in losing weight because it causes them to be more aware of the fact that they may face serious health problems in the future if they are not willing to make a change.
Types of Health Issues facing Obese Children
Obesity is a widespread concern for many parents because it is affecting their children at an alarming level. Although some children are concerned about their own obesity because they don’t want to deal with it at school and run the risk of being teased or bullied on a regular basis due to their weight, there are generally more serious problems which cause it to be a level of concern for parents who have realized that their children are exceptionally obese. The greatest concern is that it’s going to have a negative impact on their child’s health in the long run.
As can be expected, most obese children have a lot of issues with their health because the amount of weight being put on their bodies is causing substantial stress and making it difficult for their bodies to be able to work properly during normal situations. In some children, the presence of a health issue is what causes their obesity overall. In example, children who are experiencing issues such as a thyroid problem or uncontrolled diabetes are typically known to be obese because they are not receiving any of the treatments that are available to combat against this issue.
Of course, one of the more prominent health issues can be found in eating disorders and depression among children. Because obesity is treated as such a negative aspect within our society, it’s not uncommon for children to have to deal with bullies and rude comments about their weight throughout the day, especially when they are attending school. However, an equal issue is the fact that most obese children also feel uncomfortable about their bodies as well because they have the tendency to compare themselves to other children or pictures of children that they see depicted on television or the media. This can encourage them to have more negative viewpoints about their bodies and feel substantially uncomfortable about themselves, leading to depression.
Some children experience issues such as eating disorders due to this reason. If they are not feeling emotionally secure or they are dealing with a lot of problems at home, they may turn to food to help themselves feel “better” and more “accepted”. Some children eat throughout the day or sneak meals late at night when their parents are not watching. It’s not uncommon for these children to eat for the “sensation” of it and then try to purge themselves later by vomiting because they feel ashamed for having eaten a lot of food or for breaking a diet that they have recently started.
Exercise Methods to Decrease Obesity in Children
Although diet and exercise are some of the crucial factors in helping children to combat their obesity, these are generally not elements that they are able to handle independently and on their own. As a result, when exercise routines are developed and suggested, it’s up to parents to focus on finding suitable exercise methods that will be easy for their children to complete on a regular basis and will not cause them any discomfort. Parents need to be considerate of the fact that sometimes obese children have difficulties with certain types of exercises that other children would be able to complete more easily. Additionally, some children are hesitant to participate in certain types of exercises within a group of other children because they don’t want to call attention to themselves.
One point worth consideration is that parents should be considering exercise methods that are easy for children to complete on their own. Simple exercises should be taught to children so that they will be able to participate in these options even when their parents are not always around to instruct them or exercise with them. Some children prefer simple options such as running or doing some basic stretches. Any sort of exercise which essentially becomes cardio is an ideal option for children who are trying to lose weight because it encourages them to burn calories and fat. However, it’s important to understand that ideal weight loss from these methods can only be achieved if the child is willing to eat healthy foods. Having an unhealthy diet and trying to balance it with exercise generally doesn’t provide the most ideal results.
Another point to keep in mind that some children are not going to be able to replicate some of the general exercises that parents are able to accomplish on their own as adults. As a result, parents who are allowing their children to work out with them need to remember to make some exercises more simple and easier for children to complete. There are many books and online references which have exercises which are specifically created for obese children and will be easier for them to complete on their own.
Another general idea that works well is to find a physical activity that they enjoy greatly and allow this to become a form of exercise within their lifestyle. It doesn’t matter if it’s swimming or some type of sport, if the child loves to participate in it on a regular basis and isn’t shy about their obesity during these times spent with other children, they’ll be more likely to consider pursuing the activity more frequently. If they have a natural interest in the activity, then it will be easier to schedule it throughout the week for them to participate in so that they can get more exercise and general stamina from an additional source.
Food and Meal Planning to Decrease Obesity in Children
As a whole, one of the more simple ways that parents can combat obesity in their children is to consider making changes to their diet. The reason why many children are now becoming obese is mainly due to the amount of food that is being eaten throughout the day in combination with a lack of healthy food and not enough exercise or physical activity being incorporated into their daily lifestyle. Some children are obese because they are dealing with a gene that is known to target people throughout their family, meaning they would have to work harder at fighting against becoming obese by using more exercise and managing an eating plan.
One of the most common problems in this country is that there are too many children who do not have any guidance or help in regards to their typical eating habits throughout the day. Some parents don’t even monitor their child’s meals because they say that they don’t have time due to having a busy work schedule or multiple people in the family to be responsible for taking care of throughout the day. Other times, parents are simply making unhealthy food choices independently and their child is beginning to suffer for it by becoming obese over an extended period of time.
This is the most common for families where children are giving a lot of fast food and junk food throughout the day. When parents aren’t around, children may be feeding themselves extra snacks and some of the more unhealthy options that are available within the pantry. As a result, the child is not receiving any guidance over which foods to eat and which foods to avoid. Although some children purposely have unhealthy diets, there are many children who are obese because they don’t know what “healthy” foods would be considered as. This is mainly due to the amount of advertisements on television and the internet suggesting that fast food is fine. There is no specific program for children that educates them about healthy food and how to balance their meals, so parents are ultimately responsible for this aspect of their lives.
However, for parents that are serious about managing their child’s obesity, meal planning is one of the initial steps to take into consideration. If a parent is unaware about how to arrange a healthy meal plan, the child’s doctor can help them out and provide them information about what a typically healthy child would be eating throughout the day or throughout the week. Some children are willing to make these changes instantly, while others will have issues with the experience and try to continue eating as much junk food as possible. As a result, it’s ultimately up to parents to help keep their children accountable with these meal plans in order to ensure they are getting the best possible results.
Transitioning into a Different Meal Plan for Obese Children
Managing your child’s obesity can be a challenge, especially if you are dealing with a child that is a particularly picky eater. Although focusing on changes to dietary intake is greatly necessary in these situations, it is usually very difficult if you try to make an immediate change to the foods and meals that are presented to your child on a regular basis. Clearly, if a child has become used to enjoying some of the less healthy meals and snacks that are available, they are not going to be too welcome towards the idea of having to exchange these treats for fruits and veggies. However, there are some ways to get obese children more interested in their new meal plan by introducing it gradually to their dietary intake.
In example, once you have decided on incorporating a meal plan into your child’s diet, it’s important not to force it on them immediately. You might want to consider keeping some of their favorite foods within the meal plan for now and then incorporating them less frequently; another option is to keep some of the healthier foods that your child tends to already like and explain to them that these types of foods are alright in moderation. For some children, anything in moderation can be a key way to help them maintain a healthier weight, because there is the tendency to overeat and partake of food more often when parents are not around.
Discussing the meal plan with them openly is another important option to consider. Some parents find that they are more comfortable with introducing the meal plan gradually every time their child eats and leaving little to discussion regarding the main aspects of it. However, there are many parents who have reported that they have had more success with having their child adapt to a meal plan when they were willing to be open about discussion regarding the subject and willing to answer any of their child’s questions. Another key reason that this type of communication is important is because your child can use this time to express their feelings to you about their meal plan and let you know about any specific foods that they truly like or truly dislike. Understanding their eating habits is the best way to learn how to tailor the meal plan to their needs more specifically.
Consider switching up your child’s meal plan from time to time. Like anyone else, children will get bored of having the same foods over and over again and will dislike the predictable quality of a set meal plan. If you are able to switch out some meal options with other options that would be suitable, it will help your child to keep their interest in eating healthy and remind them that there are many different types of foods which are still suitable for their enjoyment.
Transitioning into an Exercise Plan for Obese Children
Perhaps one of the more well-known options for helping obese children to lose weight can be found in the use of incorporating an exercise plan into their daily or weekly routine. The amount of consistent activity that is incorporated into their lifestyle during your quest to keep them more healthy and physically fit ultimately depends on you and the recommendations of your child’s doctor. Some children will be more prepared for more frequent exercising when compared to others. As a result, it’s important to listen to your child’s opinions and consider their abilities when gauging whether or not you should increase the amount of physical activity present in their current exercise plan.
How you transition into this plan depends mainly upon your child and their interests. Some children love to stay active and participate in activities such as dancing or sports. If you are able to find a level of entertainment that keeps them interested and features a moderate amount of exercise, it can be an ideal way to incorporate exercise into their routine without actually having to enforce on them that they need to do it in order to feel more confident and lose weight. Generally speaking, most older children don’t feel comfortable with their parents trying to trick them into exercising, so if you can actually find an activity that they like which replaces this physical action more often, it’s the easiest way to incorporate it into their lifestyle.
Some children have better results with accepting an exercise plan if they know that they are working together on a team with you, their parent. This is especially true with younger children. They want to feel as if they are part of something that the adults are doing, so if you can incorporate their exercising into your own workout session, you should not have any problem with getting them interested in staying physically fit this way.
Another option is to enroll the child in a children’s exercise group. You can find these types of groups available at your local gym or the local recreation center. A few schools keep exercise groups together for the children as an extra-curricular activity so that it can be more convenient for kids who would like to join in or those who would prefer to exercise with a smaller group of children compared to what they would usually encounter if they were exercising in a large physical education class. However, some children try to avoid exercising with their classmates or other children in general because they still feel self-conscious about their weight and they don’t want to call attention to themselves ves by participating in these activities due to fear of bullying or someone making fun of them. As a result, it’s always important to consider these possibilities before enrolling your child in a group exercise program at their school.
There are other ways that can be implemented to help an obese children change their diet and overall lifestyle. These methods and many more can be used to help turn around not only the obesity, but also the health concerns plaguing those children living with this illness. This growing epidemic is one that can be reversed and should be reversed quickly.