Curbing Obesity in Children

Curbing Obesity in Children

It is estimated that nearly 20% of children these days are obese. What’s particularly alarming about this is that this excess weight puts them at higher risk for developing diabetes, high blood pressure, certain types of cancer, and osteoarthritis, to name a few. This has many parents concerned; after all, who wants to see their kid suffer with one of these conditions in early adulthood? Past attempts to curb obesity in children has focused on getting children out of the house and exercising or eating healthy foods. For the most part, however, they have been largely ineffective. That left people looking for a different answer.

A recent article I read talked about programs that focus on parenting skills rather than the children’s behaviors. The program did not even address things like the child’s exercise habits, weight or eating habits. Instead, parents were taught how to limit television time, how to reinforce good behavior without using food, and how to discipline without physical punishment. By the age of eight, those who participated in the program had less than half the rate of obesity as those who were not in the program.

So, what do you think? Does the answer to curbing childhood obesity lie with the parents?

Katie Pullar, Senior Dietetic Student

Allen Anderson, RD

3 Comments to “Curbing Obesity in Children”

  1. Gail says:

    Every time I see an extremely obese child, I wonder……where are those parents? Why aren’t those parents taking care of those children? How can you sit by and watch your kids develop lifetime habits that will lead them right into serious health issues. It doesn’t take a whole lot of effort to get these kids off the couches, turn off the television and develop a healthy lifestyle. In addition, how about a nice family meal at home instead of McDonalds, Burger King or Pizza Hut? Put a little effort into your parenting….no one said it was going to be easy!

  2. Susan says:

    @Gail…Maybe you should put a little effort into your comment!!!!! Sometimes it’s not just that easy.

    • Gail says:

      It really isn’t that hard to put some time into your children. The tv/playstations/etc have turned into babysitters. Why not take the kids to the park or get the neighbor kids together for a game? I am a teacher and about 2/3’s of my students get little or no exercise, whatsoever! Now, the budget cuts are eliminating physical education in the schools, which in many cases, was the only exercise these kids were getting! Get them hooked on a healthy lifestyle early on and they are hooked for life!