Tips To Address Childhood Obesity

October 11, 2006

imageslp.jpgAs parents… we work for our future and the future of our kids.  Sometimes though we neglect the fact that spending little time with our children can have a lasting impact on their future.  So I thought of writing this post after a 10 day hiatus while in the US.

I’ve been very busy combining fun with education while attending 2 big conventions on Diabetes- The World Insulin Resistance Conference in Las Vegas and A Postgraduate Clinical Endocrinology Update in San Francisco.  It is only now while waiting for my flight back home in the NW Lounge that I got the time to sit down and write one highlight of the meeting.

It is really sad to note that sleeping is the second activity children most often do after watching TV!  It is likewise amazing to know that one burns more calories sleeping than watching TV! Other facts that bring about childhood obesity basically are in front of us but we neglect to assign importance to them.

  • 7 to 12% of children ages 6 to 8 skip breakfast.  We know that skipping breakfast is tantamount to gaining weight.
  • 56% of 8 year old in one survey drink a soda per day and 1 in 4 drinks soft drinks. A 12 oz soda can result in a 18 to 19 lb weight gain per year!
  • By the time our children reach the higher grade… PE time decreases when in fact this is the age of 10 to 14 that you see a rise in obesity prevalence.
  • There is a strong correlation between fitness and academic performance.

These facts are so true that you start to think about your own kid.  And start doing something to address the issues that will confront you later on.

Here are some tips I got from our meeting:

  1. When we discuss about weight with our child… we discuss about HABITS rather than the HABITUS. Don’t say “you’re gaining weight” but rather “Let’s do this walking and swimming daily”
  2. A New food especially vegetables must be introduced 10x before that food is accepted.  So don’t be frustrated if you’re child refuses to eat the brocolli …just make sure you introduce the food again later.
  3. Children learn by example just like when the child learns a new language! So make sure you do what you preach.
  4. Bribery and Masking are discouraged because they decrease the child’s food preference.  Masking a vegetable to look like meat will still defeat your purpose of trying to let your child learn to like veggies.

It was one lecture that I enjoyed most and I thought of sharing with you the things I learned that we can all practice to help curb childhood obesity. It is not our child’s fault if they gained weight… sometimes we just love them too much that we give them too much freedom to choose what they want to eat!

Again… Your child learns BY EXAMPLE!

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One Response to “Tips To Address Childhood Obesity”

  1. maxim Says:

    The four facts you mentioned above Doctor are enlightening. Having 3 growing up kids and a baby, the challenge to establish the right eating habits is daunting. Particularly on the importance of eating breakfast, this is a big area to improve on. With school kids on the hurry not to be late, and their preference on foods like hotdogs, corned beef and meat loaf, and neglecting fruits, there goes then the culprit.

    I hope we could start slowly on this area.


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