Following on from our post last month about healthy eating for under-fives, we thought we’d take a look at what can be done when eating has got a bit out of control in that age group. Childhood obesity has become a hot topic in recent times. Even the UK Government has weighed in with various initiatives being launched in the fight against it.
The shocking statistics
Childhood obesity is important to address because the National statistics are quite shocking:
- • Almost a third of children aged between 2 and 15 are either overweight or obese;
- • Children are becoming obese at ever-younger ages;
- • Once obese, children are remaining so for longer;
- • Obesity doubles the risk of premature death;
- • Once adulthood is reached, the chance of obese people developing Type 2 Diabetes is SEVEN times greater.
- • Obese people suffer more from heart disease and depression.
The link between background and obesity
Statistics from studies show that children living in deprived areas are most at risk from developing weight problems. Low-income families are affected the worst and in fact the risk of obesity in five year olds in low-income families is twice that of their more affluent counterparts. By the time they reach the age of eleven, the risk increases to three times for the children from poorer backgrounds.
What can parents do to help?
Last month we published an excellent article about healthy eating for under-fives. There is lots of useful information there about children eating the right food types, correct portion sizes and much more — take a look. However, remaining at a healthy weight is not only about eating a healthy diet.
Parents can also help by ensuring that their children get regular exercise. This can be done through lifestyle choices that can be instilled into children from a very early age. For example, playing sports, gym exercise, walking, hiking and other physical activities. Indeed, research shows that building an active lifestyle that also involves healthy eating choices is one that can stick with the children even into adulthood.
The positive impact of exercise
Ensuring children get enough exercise is incredibly important in the fight against childhood, and indeed adult, obesity. After all, usually at the heart of obesity is a mismatch between the energy taken in as food/drink and the energy expended via physical activity.
However, regular exercise has many other potential benefits aside from the management of physical weight and body mass. These include: … [… READ MORE …]