The United States has seen a large jump in the number of obese people over the last forty years. According to the Body Mass Index (BMI), a metric for gauging body fat, 63% of Americans are overweight. 31% of Americans are obese, and 3.8 million Americans weigh over 300 pounds. The cost for maintaining the healthcare for a large number of overweight Americans is astronomic. This is due to many diseases being connected to obesity including: diabetes, cancer, depression, heart disease, and osteoporosis.

Yet, even more disturbing is the rate at which childhood obesity is rising. This dangerous trend is speeding the spread of many diseases in a lower age bracket. The number of heart attacks for people under 30 has risen significantly over the past five years. Many children now have cholesterol counts that were only seen in much older patients. This trend of childhood obesity, although starting in America, is spreading around the world. The amount of obese children could lead to a global pandemic of type 2 diabetes.

A new study has also found that the amount of fat cells in an adult body is equal to the amount of fat cells in the body when a person is eighteen years of age. This explains the problems that people, who were obese as children, have managing their weight later in life. It also shows the importance of helping children to control their weight and establish healthy lifestyles.

There are ways that parents, who have obese children, can help them. Here are some suggestions.

Be an example Many studies have linked a connection between overweight parents passing their poor dieting practice onto their children. As a parent it is important that you set the example to your children of how to have a proper diet. This will require more work in the kitchen, and the preparation of more home cooked meals. Fast food is often a quick way to add large amounts of fats and sugars into your diet. Even if you have a busy schedule, there are many solutions and ways that people can plan out meals as a family. Not only will eating healthy meals increase the health of your child, but studies have shown that eating meals together as a family helps the child’s social and behavioral development.

Don’t be overbearing Although it is a good idea to limit the amount of sugary food a child has, it isn’t a good idea to cut them off cold turkey. One thing that parents often forget is that their children, although overweight, are still children. Not giving them any sugary food won’t help them to make good nutritional decisions, but rather just eliminates the chance to help them learn to eat in moderation. Children can be both children and healthy. Your child doesn’t live in a bubble don’t feed them like they do.

Pay attention to your child’s mental health Depression and anxiety disorders are growing in children and teenagers. One of the common side effects of these symptoms is to over eat, which causes more anxiety and depression. Your child’s over eating could be a sign of a more serious disorder, and solving that disorder will help solve the obesity.

Promote healthy practices Help your children to find ways to have physical exercise. Also promote proper dental hygiene, and personal hygiene. Another good idea is to have your children take a good multivitamin. Even if you are giving them a wide variety of healthy foods in a nutritional diet, it is difficult to provide a growing child with all the nutrients they need. Helping them to form that habit of taking a good multivitamin will improve their health, and nutritional habits. Those habits will help them to control their weight, and to live better lives.

Childhood obesity is a problem that can’t be ignored. Yet, people can make a large difference in this problem if they will make some simple adjustments in their daily lives. Weight loss can be a daunting task, but little steps will make a big difference in the long run.

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