In the United States, the leading causes of childhood obesity are a combination of energy-dense diets and a lack of physical activity. A diet high in fat and simple sugars is a significant contributor to obesity because it leads to overeating and weight gain.
The high cost of nutritious foods and few physical activities can lead to more sedentary lifestyles, leading to more weight gain. In addition, not eating breakfast is also linked to higher rates of obesity because children who skip breakfast consume more calories from other sources throughout their day.
Research shows that children who eat breakfast will eat 50–100 fewer calories each day. This number results in a difference of over 1,000 calories between children who eat breakfast compared to those who don’t annually.
With that in mind, here are a few ways people can do as a society to prevent childhood obesity and other lifestyle diseases:
Encourage Families to Eat Healthy at Home
Most families opt for fast food, delivery options, or frozen food because it’s cheap and convenient. Many people can promote affordable, healthier options at home by providing whole grains, fresh vegetables and fruit, dairy products, and meat raised without hormones or antibiotics. Providing these items will help parents provide a nutritious diet to their children without adding too much strain on the family budget.
Plan for Nutritious School Lunches
Many children purchase their school lunches, which school cafeterias prepared with foods high in fat and sugar. Schools participating in the National School Lunch Program must offer fruits, vegetables, and bread for lunch. As parents, you can ask your school board to take action and provide more nutritious options for school lunches. They can then increase participation in the National School Lunch Program and expand it to include breakfast and after-school options for children.
Encourage Your Family to Increase Physical Activity
Encourage your children to take part in physical activities after school. What children do after school matters to their health and well-being. Most of them will sit in front of the TV or computer all day, unless there are more active options.
You can plan more activity-oriented outings for children. Some examples of this can include hiking, biking, swimming, or even just playing in the park with family members. They can also try alternative activities like yoga for kids or explore ballroom dancing classes if they’re into music and dancing.
Include Physical Education in School
According to the CDC, only four out of ten US high schools include a daily physical education class. You can encourage your school board to provide more physical education classes to students by ensuring that all public schools offer courses every semester. This will give children more opportunities to get physically active at school before they finish for the day.
Encourage Physical Activity in Community Spaces
As part of a community, you can incorporate more recreational facilities like playgrounds and parks. This will give children more opportunities to play with friends and family members during their free time.
Encouraging your family to participate in physical activity together is another way to get your children involved in pursuing healthy lifestyles. These can include participating in neighborhood events like walks, runs, or bike rides.
You can also encourage your family to spend more time outdoors by increasing the availability of outdoor activities like picnicking and camping.
Encourage More Affordable Recreational Activities
Recreational activities are important because they improve physical fitness and mental health. You can encourage more children to be active by promoting free or low-cost outdoor activities like camping, hiking, biking, sports games, etc. You can also advocate for new parks in communities.
Encourage Healthy Eating Habits in Children
You need to teach your kids to understand what proper nutrition is and why it matters. You must encourage your children to choose healthier foods by providing more opportunities to learn about nutrition and health, whether through schools or other means. You also need to ensure you’re instilling these values in your children and providing them with healthy options at home and school.
Teach Kids to Make Healthier Choices
This includes reducing their intake of sugar-sweetened beverages. You can encourage children to make healthier choices by providing more opportunities to learn about nutrition and health, whether through schools or other means. You also need to ensure we’re instilling these values in your children and providing them with healthy options at home and school.
Provide Better Healthcare to Children
This will help reduce the risk of diseases and increase their overall well-being. You can improve children’s healthcare by reducing barriers that might keep parents from accessing it, like transportation issues, lack of time, lack of coverage, or other financial concerns. You can also push your local officials for more legislation that offers more affordable health insurance rates for all children. You can get health insurance quotes by filling out the form on top of this page.
Suppose parents can encourage their children to be more active, ensure they’re getting healthy food options, and provide them with better healthcare. They will have taken a significant step toward improving their children’s health for life. Keep your children healthy with the tips in this post so they can live healthy, fruitful lives.