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Prevent Your Obese Child Becoming an Obese Adult

Jul 11, 2008
There is an 'epidemic' sweeping the western world and affecting millions of children every year and the governments have yet to produce an inoculation that will eradicate it in the near future. This terrible disease that allegedly affects almost 60 per cent of American children and remains without a miracle cure is called "childhood obesity".

You will have heard the words said many times on their own but recently they were put together to create a terrifying phrase that puts the fear of God into parents around the world. Mothers and fathers across the globe have been scratching their heads to prevent this happening to their own child.

So, what can we do about it and when can we start? Studies have revealed that around 40 per cent of obese children become obese adults so the problem must be stopped before it starts. How and why does a child go from a chubby baby to a fat kid and is it as simple a problem to solve as it appears?

Children will gain weight, in the same way as adults, for two main reasons.
1. Lack of exercise and physical activities.
2. Unhealthy and excessive eating.

Parents must take responsibility for their own child and this includes weight gain. The child will eat what they are given and will play sports or exercise when the opportunity is presented. Up until a certain age, children are powerless to buy their own meals and so the parents will be offering the treats and snacks, whether they are requested or not.

It can be difficult to refuse your child a treat but this should not be seen as an excuse to consistently grab one whenever you want a moment of peace. Indulge in activities with your child, they will thank you for it in the short-term and the long-term.

However, parents will claim that it isn't as easy as that. Food is more readily available and cheaper (despite the increase in cost of living) than ever before, and with fast food outlets in every town and village it is so much easier for kids to spend pocket money on chips and sweets.

So, in a society where being thin is the target of millions of teenage girls how did we reach this point? Every week on TV we hear stories about teenagers starving themselves to look thinner and emulate pop-stars and public outcry for Victoria Beckham to put on weight to set a good example.

In the same magazines that publish these pictures of waif-like models alongside offensive headlines you will find photos of regular-size celebrities with captions of 'fat' and 'porky'. It is evident that the media encourages a poor body image in the youth of today and with such contradictory messages it is little wonder that such a high-level of children are overweight or unhealthy eaters.

But the parent must not shun responsibility and adopt the attitude that it is pop-culture that encourages bad habits. The effects of childhood obesity are massive and should sound out a warning cry to parents around the world. Type II Diabetes, breathing trouble, high cholesterol and heart problems are just a few of the illnesses that could be brought on by over-indulging at an early age.

If parents don't step up and take responsibility for their children's futures, they will only regret it when the damage is done. It really is a simple process of promoting a healthy eating program and encouraging regular exercise, so there really is no excuse.
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