Childhood obesity has become a worldwide plague and an uphill task for many parents. The number of obese children has become enormous around the globe, and action should be taken in order to decrease this alarming rate. Many children in the society are suffering from obesity and this makes them prone to serious health risks in the future. Obesity exposes a child to diseases like high blood pressure, heart disease, cancer, diabetes, as well as sleep problems in the future. Obesity is a disorder that is characterized by increased body weight due to excessive fat intake. It can be caused when the calories consumed exceeds the amount of calories burned. Parents are to blame for their children becoming overweight and obese; this is because of the kinds of food that they feed their children. Many children suffer from the obesity epidemic across the globe, and it is as a result of the type of food given to them by their parents or guardians. Therefore, parents are to watch out on the kind of foods given to their children, and provide healthy lifestyle choices to them. Parents are to infuse healthy eating habits in their children, for the reason that, without the aspiration of children to eat healthily, no progress will be made in the fight against childhood obesity. This can only be done by educating parents on the ways to tackle childhood obesity, and the main way is prevention.
Childhood obesity can be caused by parents feeding their children with foods rich in fats, for instance junk food. Most parents prefer giving their children junk food bought from fast foods, instead of a suitable balanced diet. When a child is fed on a lot of fats, the fat is transformed into calories, whereby after accumulating in the body, they lead to obesity and overweight. According to Gable and Lutz, most children living with obesity are said to get it from the foods parents serve them at home (Gable and Lutz, 2000). Parents can only eliminate obesity in their children by feeding them on a strict balanced diet. In addition, childhood obesity can be caused by too much eating. Many parents feed their children with a lot of food and they grow up eating too much.
While many children are faced with the obesity problem as they grow up, childhood obesity is preventable. Even though there are a number of ways parents can use to tackle childhood obesity identified by researchers, the most effective way to handle this epidemic is by prevention. According to Leann, prevention is the most effective way of handling the obesity scourge in children (2011). Childhood obesity is a phenomenon that needs to be addressed from our homes. When addressed by parents, the children with the obesity scourge will be reduced in numbers, as many of them will be prevented from suffering from obesity and overweight. Preventing obesity will involve dealing with the main factors that cause obesity, which are physical inactivity, and feeding children on the wrong diet. Parents are supposed to work together with their children, and with teachers for those school going children, in preventing obesity, and only prevention can be used to eliminate this worldwide scourge that is increasing among young children worldwide.
First, parents should make sure that their children eat a balanced diet. A healthy diet is vital in the prevention of childhood obesity. Parents should encourage their children to take a balanced diet and make sure that they discourage them from taking junk foods (Mille, Rosenbloom, and Silverstein, 2004). This can be done by making sure that children are not exposed to junk foods at home, as well as at school. Reducing caloric intake in children is the best way to prevent childhood obesity. Mille, Rosenbloom, and Silverstein further state that, many school going children makes wrong choices in the foods they take, especially during break time or lunch hours, by taking junk foods that is easily available to them in school canteens and café (2004). Parents should work hand in hand with the school administration in closing up canteens that sell junk foods to children and only encourage the selling of fruits in schools. Parents have the chance to stop their children from becoming obese and overweight by giving them a proper food or a balanced diet. Furthermore, parents can determine if their children become obese on not depending on the kind of diet they give them in their development stage. Moreover, parents should teach their children on how to be responsible and avoid junk foods, since it is not good for their health, this will help a lot in preventing children from taking in more calories. Therefore, in order to prevent childhood obesity, parents should provide their children with healthy food options, and limit their intake of foods rich in fat in addition to sugary foods.
Secondly, parents should ensure that their children exercise on a regular basis. Making exercise a fun activity is vital for every household, as it will help encourage kids to exercise regularly. Parents should encourage physical activities for their children on a daily basis. When children fail to exercise, they are prone to obesity and overweight, since most of the fats remains in the body and can only be burned out through physical exercises. Parents should emphasize physical activities for their children both at home and school in order to prevent their children from becoming overweight and obese. A study done by Li and Hooker indicates that, physical exercises and activities help to reduce obesity risks in children (2010). Moreover, physical activities are the main ways to burn calories in the body; therefore, parents should ensure that, their children exercise on a regular basis in order to burn calories and this will prevent them from becoming overweight and obese.
Most children prefer a lifestyle whereby, they spend most of their free time watching the television, movies, and playing computer and video games. Parents should seize this opportunity and encourage them to exercise by playing outside with other children, riding bikes, skating, and even jumping ropes. This will help their children become physically fat, since the fats stored in the body will be burned out (Li and Hooker, 2010). Through these exercises and physical activities, parents will be able to prevent their children from becoming obese and overweight.
Third, parents should make sure that they prevent their children from becoming obese by breastfeeding them for at least six months. According to Pruitt (1998), breast milk plays a vital role if whether a child might become obese in the future or not. Moreover, parents can prevent their children from becoming obese by teaching them to eat less food as they grow up. Many parents feed their children on large amounts of food and this makes them suffer from obesity. The propensity to eat more than the body needs significantly contributes to the childhood obesity scourge. Giving children food in the right quantities helps a lot in preventing childhood obesity as children will grow up knowing the amount of food that should be taken. Parents should practice a responsive feeding program for their children, as this will encourage them to eat appropriate quantities that keep to their body’s requirements. In addition, they will grow up aware of the kinds of foods that are good for their health and those that expose them to the risk of suffering from obesity. According to Koplan, Liverman, and Kraak, parents highly influence the ability of overeating in their children, especially according to the way they eat themselves, and their eating beliefs (2005). Therefore, parents should consider a strict intake of food for their children in order to regulate the quantity of food being taken by their children.
Lastly, in order to prevent childhood obesity, parents should focus on a more healthy and active lifestyle for their children. The parents should practice good eating habits, as their children will take after them. Additionally, parents should enhance their parenting skills by developing an authoritative approach in shaping their children’s eating habits. Brown and Ogden state that, children’s food preferences will always be similar to those of their parents; hence, parents are supposed to become role models for their children by eating healthily (2004). Most children will always want to eat what their parents eat, and when parents eat a balanced diet on a daily basis, they will be able to influence their children, thus prevent them from becoming overweight and obese. As they have been portrayed to be the major cause of obesity in their children, parents should try their best to prevent obesity in their children, and reduce overweight in the children who already have obesity.
When parents put all of the above into consideration, they will be able to prevent their children from becoming overweight and obese. Most studies done on childhood obesity reveal that, the sooner parents get involved in their children’s nutrition, the better, because, they are the only people who can prevent their children from obesity. Parents need to take a greater responsibility, in finding ways to reduce the risk of obesity in their children by serving as role models. Parents greatly influence their children’s health and fitness, since they serve as Heros to them. Parents can encourage their children to take lots of fruits and vegetables and exercise daily, by simply doing it themselves as role models. However, most parents have failed to realize their role as role models to their children, and this has highly influenced their children’s health thus making them prone to obesity.
Obesity has become a global epidemic that affects children, adolescence and even adults. Children with obesity have a great risk of becoming obese adults, and this makes them at risk of numerous medical conditions related to obesity in the future. In addition, children with obesity are at risk of having a reduced life expectancy because of the greater risk of complications (Lindsay, Sussner, Kim, and Gortmaker, 2006). The rising prevalence of obesity in children is as a result of poor eating habits, and they are associated with parents. Therefore, it is a high time for parents to take charge and prevent their children from becoming obese. It is the duty of the parents to tackle the obesity scourge in their children. Parents should be educated on how to tackle the obesity epidemic through seminars and community based programs and this will help reduce obesity prevalence in children. Parents should encourage their children to eat less and move more.
The fight against childhood obesity requires a communitywide effort of parents. According to many studies done, parents are the main cause for the increase of obesity in young children. Therefore, parents should come together in the community and find appropriate ways to prevent obesity in their children. Crow and Golan state that, parents can learn about the best ways to prevent their children from the obesity scourge through seminars (2004). Through education programs and community based programs, parents will be able to handle to the obesity epidemic effectively. Moreover, they will be able to learn how to feed their children with a properly balanced diet, and the types of exercises that are recommendable for young children. Moreover, parents will learn how to evaluate their children’s weight and this will help them monitor any abnormal weights, which might lead to obesity. Through this, many parents will be able to educate their children on the kind of food that is good for their health, in addition to exercising on a regular basis.
In conclusion, childhood obesity is a global scourge. It is evident that, there is an increase in the number of obese and overweight children around the globe. Due to these startling increases, dealing with obesity has become a priority in many nations, although it is an uphill task for many parents. Childhood obesity is mainly caused by parents, depending on the choices of foods they give to their children. Most parents give their children foods full of fats thus making them to be at a high risk of becoming obese. As they are the main cause of obesity in their children, parents should take a preventive measure to reduce obesity prevalence in children. Most kids consume more calories than they need on a daily basis, take larger meals, and are addicted to sugary foods and even soda. In addition, they are being drawn into obesity unaware, and by the time they grow old, they cannot take control of their eating habits since, poor eating habits have been engrained in them. Therefore, it is the duty of parents to prevent their children from becoming obese by learning, how to tackle this global epidemic.
Prevention is said to be the best cure for obesity, as it will eliminate the problem completely. Parents can prevent their children from suffering from obesity by making sure that they eat a balanced diet. In addition, parents should encourage their children to exercise on a daily basis in order to burn excess calories in the body, since physical inactivity leads to overweight, thus obesity. Parent should focus on taking care of their children by taking a closer look at the foods they give them, unless they want their children to be obese and overweight. Hence, it is important for parents to work out on ways to prevent their children from obesity, and this can be best done through prevention, by providing them with a balanced diet and encouraging physical activities. Childhood obesity is a growing problem that needs to be taken seriously. Obese children will always end up becoming obese adults, unless parents make a change in their lifestyles and diet. Therefore, preventing childhood obesity and setting up children for a better future is the way forward for a healthy nation free from the obesity scourge.
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