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Kids And Fitness

Apr 19, 2008
One of the major health concerns in today's society is the problem of obesity which affects children as well as adults. While some people's weight is controlled by medical or genetic conditions, most cases of obesity are just a matter of poor diet and exercise habits. As a parent, there are a few simple things that you can do to improve your child's chances against developing a weight problem.

Diet is a major factor in childhood obesity. Between snack foods and fast food restaurants, we are a society that eats on the run. Teaching your child good eating habits can save them a lot of heartache later on. You can start by buying healthier food at the grocery store. Replace potato chips with fresh fruits or replace your soda with fruit juice. If these healthier items are the only snacks in the house, your children may complain about them but they will eventually eat them.

Fast food restaurants are also an easy place for your children to eat food that contains too much fat and calories. These businesses have acknowledged the problem of childhood obesity and many now offer healthy alternatives to their regular menu. So instead of French fries, you can purchase your child a fruit treat or flavored yogurt. While the child may still want the French fries, you need just to remember that you are the parent and you should stand firm on any decisions that you make dealing with your child's fast food choices.

Until a few years ago, schools were also guilty of serving children fattening foods. Many school vending machines included everything from candy to corn chips. While many schools have replaced these vending machine items with healthier snacks such as peanuts and low fat potato chips, some others have not. You may want to check with your child's school to determine what kind of foods that your child can purchase. If your school still carries the traditional snacks, you may be able to discuss the matter with the school administrator to have these unhealthy food items replaced. Most schools are more than happy to comply with this request.

Another factor that causes childhood obesity is the lack of exercise. With the invention of home video games, some children never get off the couch for hours at a time. You should try to limit the amount of time that your child is allowed to play these games. If he argues about it, just remove the games completely until he has agreed to your terms. In the spare time that the child now has, encourage him to go outside and get some fresh air and exercise.

The best way to teach your children good eating and exercising habits is by example. You need to be willing to eat healthier yourself and in reality most of us could use more exercise. If your child sees that you are eating those vegetables and that you are exercising every day, he may be encouraged to join you.

Eating right and getting enough exercise is all a matter of choice. Making wiser choices now will ensure that you and your children will be healthier and happier
About the Author
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