It’s up to parents to fight childhood obesity

Parents of overweight children are well aware of the frustration that this problem can cause. They quickly realize that no matter what they do at home to help their children lose weight, these efforts can quickly be thwarted as soon as your child leaves home and is exposed to a variety of outside pressures beyond his or her control.

As soon as children start going to school, they become part of this system and daily routine that takes up many years of their lives. Things are not the same in school as they were when their parents were in school.

Much less time is spent on physical education and recess time has been reduced as more and more demands have been added to the school curriculum. When I was young, physical education (PE) classes were held three times a week and lasted between one and two hours. In addition, we had two or three 30-minute breaks a day. Today, P.E. classes are held once or twice a week and often last only 20-30 minutes.

Add to this lack of physical activity a poor diet, common in most school cafeterias, and it is not surprising that the number of obese children continues to grow. Most of the food served in cafeterias has minimal nutritional value and contains a lot of poorly refined carbohydrates.

The healthy foods that are available (salads, for example) are not the kind of things that many children choose, and although some meals include fruits and vegetables, it is often not “cool” to eat them.

While it is easy to point the finger at schools, the truth is that they have been constrained by shrinking budgets and stricter academic requirements. Ultimately, it is up to the parents of these children to fight the problem, either on their own or with the help of something like a weight loss camp.

In a children’s weight loss camp, children learn how to choose healthy foods for their diet. They learn how to exercise and be active in a playful way. They also learn about the potential negative health consequences of being overweight, such as heart disease, diabetes, etc.

While weight loss camps can be perfect in many cases, it is also important for parents to do what they can at home. Parents need to make sure that the food they serve their children is healthy and that they give them the opportunity to exercise. Encouragement is also important, because children who have developed bad habits over many years are unlikely to change their diet instantly.

While parents can’t control everything that happens outside the home in their child’s life, they can control some things. Taking steps to learn about healthy lifestyle habits and considering weight-loss camps are excellent ways to get started.

I doubt that many of us work for employers who serve us full meals every day and offer planned physical activities. It is therefore imperative that parents start adopting healthy lifestyle habits for their children today.