Problem of obesity

One may also consider that a child who is overweight has many hang ups and if they are singled out as different from their peers and siblings, they might not be susceptible to the treatment program. Losing weight and keeping it off is a lifestyle change not only for the obese child but generally everyone in their immediate vicinity, the parents, siblings, grandparents if they are within the jurisdiction of the child. Healthy eating habits cannot be stressed enough as a good direction in keeping the weight off.

Increased physical activity is also a good step towards getting oneself off the right end of the scale. Prevention of Obesity “An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure” – Benjamin Franklin It is easier to prevent that cure obesity and one may note that parental education can go a long way in helping prevent obesity in children. It is noted that chubby children are cute, but this already predisposes the child to obesity, early childhood education should be facilitated to include proper nutrition, good exercise habits and parental education as to the dangers of obese children.

Researchers have recommended that wide-ranging multi-staged intervention programs are needed to prevent complex health problems (McLeroy et al, 1988; Freudenberg et al, 1995). One must realize that prevention of obesity is not nearly as hard as it is to cure it, so practices in order to prevent it from happening should be considered thoroughly and attitude changes by parents and the family in general should be incorporated so that the problem of obesity can be taken care of. The parent or family should be taught to observe eating habits and activity.

Practices in relation to food to prevent obesity can be described as follows: 1. Eat Well It is noted that a good diet is one of the main components for good health, but one can also note that eating healthy is easier said than done (Litchfield et al, 2004). A variety of tactics can be employed in order to promote healthy eating. Carbonated beverages like sodas including other sweetened drinks are also related to higher intake of body fat, whereas consumption of calcium rich foods such as milk and milk products are correlated with lower body fat.

When eating out it is recommended that the family eats in a restaurant that provides for healthy food alternatives. Encourage portion control when eating most particularly for the high calorie foods. It is also suggested that the child learns to cook healthy meals at home. Also it is determined that activities should always be kept fun. Eat breakfast and other meals as a family. Pack healthy school lunches. Let your child be a part of the meal planning at home. This will help the parent realize the desires of the child with regards to food and how best to prepare it in order for them to eat it.

The parent must also realize that if the food is not appealing for the child the probability is that they will not eat it, this is most especially true for the snacks and packed lunches brought to school, they might bring the food but not eat it and just eat somewhere else It is also a good practice not to reward any deed with promises of food and snacks, instead use praises, stickers and stars, time for favorite activities or an extra hour playing can be their reward rather than candies, chips or other junk foods that will ultimately be bad for their health.

2. Keep junk food and unhealthy foods away Junk food should be realized for what it is, junk as it is aptly called. Unhealthy food like chips, soda, candies and chocolates should be kept at a minimum and healthy alternative like fruits and vegetables snack substitutes should be the ones that are within reach in the refrigerator and cookies and chips should be kept only for ‘special occasions’ (Litchfield, Nelson & Koch, 2004) avoiding it as much as possible.

Stock up and preserve a variety of healthy foods at home rather than junk food, and thoroughly consider removing these types of food or teach the children to limit intake of such foods 3. Provide appropriate food portioning (just like in restaurants) It is important to note that it is essential to proportionate food intake, generally like in a restaurant where one orders food, the food delivered and serve is proportioned and measured such should be the case in the house also, where food not necessarily measured to the gram should be controlled to avoid eating too much.

4. Savor your food (eat slower) Eating slowly lets our brain realize that we have taken in enough food and thereby we are obliged to stop eating. It is may also enable the digestive system to digest the food thoroughly, Litchfield, Nelson and Koch (2004) also notes that savoring the food helps one to lose weight and eating slower may not only helps the digestion of the food but also fosters social functions like small talk in the dinner table that can enhance interpersonal relationships. 5. Eat at the right place and at the right time

Breakfast, lunch and dinner should be eaten in the dining room; even snack time should be eaten at the dinner table, not in front of the television or in their rooms. This fosters routine and control. This can be surmised that a child will eat less if they are subjected to eat at the table since they would want to do other activities than eating therefore snacks and such to be eaten at the table means lesser time to be spent in other activities and such will mean that they will tend to eat less because they are in a hurry to go back to what they were doing including computers and television watching.

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