Childrens Obesity Worsened by Technology, Parents’ Denial

There is no denying it. For childrens obesity, a clear association is present between a reduction in TV hours and decreased weight gain over one year for adolescents. However many Americans fail to even acknowledge whether their children are a healthy weight.

About one in three American children are either overweight or obese, according to the American Heart Association. Decreasing daily TV consumption is a simple way to prevent steady, prolonged weight gain because it promotes the development of good, healthy habits.

These findings, reported in the Journal of Nutrition Education and Behavior, are more significant in children than adults due to differing stages of physical and emotional development.

Recognizing a Problem

It is fairly common knowledge that Americans—adults and children alike—are getting heavier. Yet, many parents hesitate to acknowledge obesity in their children, despite its connection to poor health.

A study of more than 100 children with type 2 diabetes conducted by researchers at Vanderbilt University evaluated how willing parents were to acknowledge their child’s weight problem.

Eighty-seven percent of kids in the study were clinically obese. Yet only 41 percent of parents said the kids were “very overweight.”

The study also reveals that, of parents claiming their diabetic child’s weight is “about right,” 40% had children heavier than nearly all of other kids the same age.

When glued to the tube, children often eat mindlessly and excessively. Typically preferring sugar-sweetened snacks and beverages to healthy whole foods. The detrimental effects of this sedentary lifestyle have been known for years, and limiting TV time presents a simple, crucial first step to helping children maintain a healthy body weight. According to the American Heart Association, “overweight children have a 70-80 percent chance of staying overweight their entire lives.”

Getting Active

Setting a strong example is very important. The American Journal of Health Promotion discovered Children are more likely to change their sedentary habits and get active when supported by their parents.

Screen time and sitting in front of the TV curbs kids’ desire to be active, which prevents them from burning off the calories they consume while watching TV. Lack of physical activity also decreases muscular endurance, lung capacity and even hampers children’s ability to think critically and creatively.

Obviously, exercise also helps kids maintain a healthy weight. Physical Activity it also decreases mental & emotional stress, promotes healthy neurodevelopment, and regulates hormone function.

Perhaps most importantly, increased physical activity prevents children from adopting bad habits. Slurping down soda and mindlessly munching on chips are hard to do when enjoying a game of tag or dodgeball.

To get your kids active, involve them in your exercise routine. You can also start playing a recreational sport they may enjoy. Though your efforts may not last a lifetime, it makes a big difference in your child’s quality of life today.

What You Can Do

Healthy habits start when you accept the truth, and then use it as motivation. All the knowledge in the world means little without action. To help your family get in better shape, accountability and support are essential.

Discover how to get your family in shape efficiently and cost-effectively, by contacting your nearest Maximized Living wellness doctor today. Be sure to ask about the upcoming Community Dinner event. You can learn from other patients who have improved their health through the principles of Maximized Living.