Childhood Obesity: Why These Conversations Matter
Childhood obesity is and has been a touchy subject for quite some time now. In America, one-third of children are overweight or considered obese. According to the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey, childhood obesity has been on the rise since 1999. In certain demographics, we tend to see more cases of obesity. Studies have consistently shown obesity to be more widely prevalent in Hispanic households. Often times these disparities are related to socioeconomic status and the financial ability to access fresh and healthy foods. But no matter if your own situation reflects these statistics, as a parent, there are reasons to pay attention to childhood obesity.
Let us take a closer look into why childhood obesity is such a prevalent topic and a conversation worth having.
The Risks Associated With Childhood Obesity
As parents, we want what’s best for our children. We shop for groceries with their health in mind, and we make sure they visit their pediatrician as often as needed. So we often wonder what more can be done? It’s important to recognize that childhood obesity is often hereditary. If you or your spouse dealt with weight issues growing up, your child is more likely to as well.
Other contributing factors include:
- Psychological issues including depression, stress, or anger
- A lack of daily exercise
- Daily eating habits — eating too much sugar and processed foods
Obesity is something that can easily carry on into adulthood. The complications extend far beyond being overweight. Children who struggle with obesity are also susceptible to:
- Type 2 Diabetes
- High blood pressure
- Sleep disorders
- Bone fractures
Factors That Contribute to Childhood Obesity and Ways to Combat Them
For decades now, advertisers have benefited from the clever marketing techniques that lure children to ask their parents for cereals, candy, and other empty calorie foods packaged with friendly characters in bright colored text. These television programs also tend to include often hidden messages of food, whether it’s a family drinking soda or a family who feasts on pizza every episode. Pay attention to the programming your child watches and when they do request a product during a trip to the grocery store, be sure to read the labels on these products.
In addition to keeping a close eye at the marketing geared at children, you can also encourage healthy behaviors that will translate into positive results. For example, encourage your family to do more outdoor activities such as playing in the park or swimming at the local pool. Also, make sure your child is getting plenty of sleep. Leading an overall active lifestyle will require plenty of sleep.
Connect With a Compassionate Pediatrician
If you’re looking for professional assistance with your child’s health, specifically managing his or her weight, one of our pediatricians can help guide you and your family in the right direction. At each age, your child goes through unique milestones. It’s important that their weight match their height and other developmental factors. It can be a very difficult and uncomfortable conversation, but it’s one worth having.
When you meet with one of our pediatricians, you can have full confidence knowing your child’s health will be in good hands! Taking the first step involves asking those initial difficult questions but once you’ve raised your concerns, your child’s pediatrician will have a better understanding of his or her needs.
Do not delay seeking the help your child needs. Connect with us today!