Lifestyle Choices Lead the Way to Childhood Obesity

What did we do before there were endless videos to entertain us? Whatever it was, we were probably slimmer because of it. Convenience and electronic entertainment has led to lifestyle choices that create obesity, in adults and children alike.

Less Outside, More Inside Leads to a Bigger Backside

It is a different world out there and it shows around the waistline. The advent of computers, interactive video games, and anything you want available right on your television screen have brought kids inside after school and on weekends as opposed to being outside playing. As a result, kids exercise less and eat more.

On average, kids spend more than four hours a day watching television or playing video games. And, contrary to popular belief, moving your eyes from side to side watching TV doesn’t burn calories. Also, sitting in front of a monitor of any kind encourages mindless eating of unhealthy snacks.

Safety Concerns Keep Kids Indoors More

Parents are working longer hours which leave kids home by themselves more often. In a society that seems increasingly more dangerous for kids to be outside on their own, parents want their child safe inside. That means they are in the house for hours, getting no exercise at all. Experts recommend that kids get at least 60 minutes of physical activity each day.

Working Parents are Too Tired to Play

Jobs and money is always going to be an issue with parents, especially when the economy is tight. We have to pay bills to keep a roof over our heads and food on the table. Parents are working longer hours, and as a result, are feeling overwhelmed, grabbing as much downtime as they can at home. In other words, all parents want to do when they finally get home after a long day at work is rest. Kids are less likely to exercise when they have parents who don’t participate in some sort of physical exercise on a regular basis. Each evening when the parents come home and plop down in front of the television is another opportunity missed to help their child fight obesity.

The High-Fructose Reward System

We like to reward our kids when they do something well. When foods such as sugary treats are given as a reward, it inadvertently encourages obesity. Children will always strive to win any reward, but when the reward is chocolate cupcakes, the thrill of doing well is associating with a food treat. This food-equals-approval will be confusing later when their weight gain can lead to ridicule.

Help Children Learn Healthy Habits to Avoid Obesity

Get moving!

When you are tired, get your body moving and you will increase your energy. This may seem like a trick, but it’s not. Once you get started walking, bicycling, swimming, or even playing hopscotch, endorphins are produced in your body, uplifting your mood. That fatigue and tired feeling will begin to fade away.

Exercise as a family!

Pick an activity that everyone likes to do and get started. Kids are influenced by their parents. If you get on board with a daily exercise routine, your kids will begin to see exercise as a fun part of daily life. They will reach less and less for those video games and more for the door. Over time, you can increase your intensity or change your activity. Children will develop healthy habits and get in shape; a habit that will last a lifetime.

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