The University of Illinois have just done a study on obese kids. The Child Development Laboratory was in charge of the research and they surveyed over 300 kids and their parents in east-central Illinois.
They found that there were three factors which determined whether a child was obese or on the road to obesity. They stressed that these were all manageable and could be acted upon to prevent present or future weight problems.
3 main factors that may lead to obesity.
They identified about 20 factors but the top three were:-
• when parents themselves are obese or have a high BMI (body mass index)
• lose sleep due to irregular bedtimes
• putting children on a diet may only increase cravings when they manage to escape the family circle. They will not lose weight that way!
Parents are a role model
They also found that when either parent or both led a sedentary lifestyle and were obese, then this pattern was more than likely to be passed on the children. In addition, any unhealthy dietary habits were also likely to be inherited by the kids. Storing unhealthy snacks in the fridge and cupboards was also liable to have a negative effect on the obese or chubby child’s weight. Getting organized and doing a weekly meal plan is a great and cheap way to give your kids and yourself a healthier diet. Encourage them to exercise as well.
It is not what they eat or even the healthy diets. It is much more about getting into a routine and that less chaos as regards mealtimes and so on.
7 ways to make sure your kids will not be obese
1. Don’t use grub or the lack of it as a reward or punishment. It should not be linked to behavior at all. The two things are quite separate. At the same time, we should avoid using it as a substitute for affectionate support when children are down, discouraged or unhappy.
2. Banning junk snacks in one fell swoop is not a good idea. We just need to cut down on these. If we do ban them, there is a risk that this may backfire and lead to surreptitious snacking outside the home. You may lose the battle.
3. Give them fruit such as bananas, apples, chocolate and nuts to keep them going during the school recess. The money they can save on the vending machines which are full of salty and sugary snacks can be used to save up for a treat such as a new phone or clothes. When they start to lose weight and gain energy and self esteem, this is a reward in itself. Tell your kids a story like the one here about Ziger The Tiger Is Getting Fat.
4. A kid who is between 9-13 years old should be getting about 1,700 calories a day. It is scary to know that McDonald’s Chocolate McCafe Shake has about 880 calories! Using lots of water and milk from early on will mean that they will, hopefully, be less addicted to soda and other sugar filled drinks as they grow up and wilk not become obese again.
5. Make mealtimes into an event. Talk about healthy food and always set the good example. Encourage kids to prepare food and also have a themed evening once a week so that food is talked about a lot. In this way, eating becomes much more than an automatic process.
6. Having a regular meal schedule encourages regular eating. The same goes for snack times. This regular pattern will ensure that they do not snack so often in the intervals.
7. Go for smoothies. These are a great way to get fruit and veg on a child’s menu. Involve your child in making the smoothies so that they can choose what they want. If they are not involved in any way, you will lose them.
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